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Archive for March, 2010

Presidential Myth…

It looks as if the rags-to-riches sob story that presidential aspirant Manny Villar and his camp have been trying hard to cultivate, and spread like a malicious virus among the masa, long before the start of the campaign period, is showing that proverbial crack after all.

It is now being revealed that the legend, that is the rise of Villar from humble beginnings to great wealth and power, could easily rank up there, among the works of the Brothers Grimm — the duo that gave us, among others, “Cinderella”, “Snow White” and “The Frog Prince”.

How Manny Villar lied and used the death of his brother Danny

AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo (The Philippine Star) Updated March 28, 2010 12:00 AM

“Nakaranas na ba kayong … mamatayan ng kapatid dahil wala kang pera pangpagamot (Have you experienced losing a brother because you did not have the money to provide him proper medical care)? — Manny Villar asked in his “PANATA (Advocacy)” TV commercial. Villar was referring to his younger brother Danny who passed away on October 1962. In the same commercial, Villar’s 1962 photo with his younger brother was shown.

This portrayal of being poor once upon a time is a fantasy which comes in a series of similar attempts by Villar to create empathy with the nearly 90% of voters who belong to the socio-economic classes D and E. However, this particular attempt to use his late brother Danny to further his political ambition showed that Villar is as capable of lying just like Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).

Two public documents — the death certificate of Danny B. Villar and the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT number: 135396/3194) of the 560 square meter property in the upper class San Rafael Village of Navotas where the Villars had lived when Danny died — shattered this ONCE POOR fantasy that Villar has been peddling.

Read the rest of the article here.

The whole revelation isn’t surprising, at least to me, personally, because I’ve long had my suspicion about the guy — ever since he started peddling that BS about his dilapidated childhood home.

But you what the worst part is? Many people actually swallow the whole thing… hook, line and sinker!

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Two weeks ago I received a couple of funny pictures via e-mail, courtesy of best friend.

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Oi, this is so true. I’ve personally seen KFC patrons (students especially) pouring gallons of gravy over their rice, thereby creating a mini shortage of gravy inside the restaurant. Because of this, some KFC outlets now chain the gravy thermos to the wall.

Onli in da Pilipins…

Here’s another one that would make you think twice about leaving school…

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Okay, I think this one is definitely not taken in good old RP…

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Not that I’m a fan of Jolibee, but if I were them, I’d put a sign that says, “Take That, you stupid clown!”

PS: I’m not a big fan of McDonald’s either, but at least their burgers aren’t sweet.

And lastly, here’s one sign that would definitely make your driving day…

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Uh, so I guess I should “ternright” then?

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And now, for the un-funny side of life in these islands…

When some concerned groups and the equally-concerned public questioned the morality and the legality of ex-president Joseph Estrada’s presidential candidacy, the COMELEC replied, “We’ll just let the people decide“.

When there was public outcry about political dynasties hijacking the Party-List system for their own personal political gain, the COMELEC again said, “We’ll just let the people decide“.

Gee, I didn’t realize that the country’s premier electoral watchdog had that much faith in the Filipino voters.

Curiously, a few months back, the COMELEC, citing questions of morality, disqualified (for the second time) ANG LADLAD, a group seeking to represent the gay community.

In all their arrogance, the righteous dorks at the COMELEC took it upon themselves to “protect” the Filipino people against the supposed immoral lifestyle of gays; and yet at the same time, thought it was being “democratic” by allowing a convicted ex-president to run for president.

Double standards? you be the judge…

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Note: This is the first of my two-part feature article for The Philippine Online Chronicles, which was published today.

When Karl Benz first designed the modern automobile, he had no doubt that it will revolutionize land travel. But little did the German engineer realize that his invention would one day usher in a new tradition as well: the Road Trip.

It is the two words in the English dictionary that never fail to conjure up images of wide open spaces, seemingly endless stretch of asphalt, lush green vegetation whizzing by and thoughts of, well, to borrow a line from that classic Eagles song, ‘Hotel California’, ‘… cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air’.

Hitting the open road has become a cherished summer tradition for many among us, perhaps brought about by our temporary (or permanent for some) need to ‘get away from it all’, or to celebrate our undying love affair with that four-wheeled, fossil-fuel powered contraption known as the family car.

Often fraught with adventure, as well as danger, road trips are in fact, a good metaphor for life, and can be best summed up by a famous quote from American novelist and poet, Don Williams, Jr. “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.

Indeed, every journey is a lesson unto itself, so before you start packing up for your much-awaited vacation, there are a few things you will need to know (and do) first before taking that highway to God knows where:

The first and most important thing to remember: Have your car go through a (very) thorough check-up a few days before the trip.

This is probably the most basic, and yet the most commonly ignored, of the rules of road tripping. Just because your car was running fine along EDSA this morning doesn’t mean it’s one hundred percent road trip-worthy.

You have to realize that motor vehicles are like bratty kids. They are a spoiled lot. They ask a lot from you and can, when you least expect it, throw a tantrum that would ultimately ruin your long planned vacation…

To read more, click on this.

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Maids

Note: This was my second article for the POC, published last 21st of March.

Ask any Pinoy living abroad what they miss the most since leaving the homeland for greener pastures, chances are, nine out of ten will mention them, along with the comfort foods of home.

The warm sun and world-renowned hospitality of the people aside, they’re one of the reasons why expatriates and retirees prefer living in these islands. And it’s not hard to imagine why, it’s a luxury very few of them could ever afford in their respective countries.

Your lola had them aplenty in her employ during her time. So did your parents, who had one or two in the house taking care of practically everything, including you as a toddler, while they slave away at the workplace.

The post-war economic boom, and the emergence of the middle-class Filipinos saw the need for cheap and readily available help, as housewives found themselves joining the workforce. And thus, began our state of dependency and some say, unhealthy, reliance on maids.

Generally referred to as Katulong (literally translated as, helper), housemaids come by many names; from the derisive Atsay and Tsimay, words that eventually found its way into the Pinoy slang dictionary, to the derogatory terms like, Alila (slave) and Utusan (gofer, or errand girl).

I once heard from my mother that, in the past, domestic helpers are referred to as muchachas (Spanish translation: a young girl or woman) by the older generation. Rarely, if ever, you’d hear anyone mentioning it these days but I distinctly remember it being used (perhaps by that famous of contravidas, Bella Flores) in some Tagalog movies of yore.

kasambahay’, a fusion of the term ‘kasamang bahay’ (house companion) seem to be the current term used in these ‘politically-correct’ times, although curiously, I have yet hear anyone other than television reporters, journalists and bloggers use it…

Read more…

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Weekend blabbering

Megalomania [meg-uh-loh-mey-nee-uh] – Delusions of grandeur; an extreme form of egotism.

Okay, so megalomania is too extreme a description, but I don’t know how else to describe this phenomena of self-delusion among our politicians.

Go around town and you’ll hardly miss those signs. They’re everywhere. They’re so prevalent in fact, that if those signs are to be believed, we, the citizens of this politically, and economically battered islands, owe much our benevolent benefactors, who tirelessly work to provide us footbridges (like the one shown above), waiting sheds, well-paved roads, lamp posts, public toilets (if there is one to be found) and other urban conveniences that, were it not for their kindness and generosity, would not have been possible.

Sickening, isn’t it?

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It’s nearly been three weeks since we moved here and all is well, so far. Like I said before, the place isn’t perfect but at least its miles away from those vendors and pedicabs.

Still far from being a hundred percent noise-free, every now and then we’d get jolted out of pants by a chorus of barking dogs every time a stranger comes within sniffing distance.

Oh, didn’t I tell you? almost everyone in this neighborhood have dogs.

In the absence of barangay tanods, or neighborhood watch, and with akyat-bahay so common, everyone keeps their own private canine security guard/burglar alarm.

No complaints here though. For someone who survived sleeping and living through endless round of Raps, mushy Pinoy love songs and stupid novelty songs day in day out for seven years, the sound of dogs barking would be like listening to a Beethoven symphony.

Arabella, though, seem to be the one enjoying her stay. And she’s found a new past time as well: Window gazing.

Yup, these days, our canine prima donna seem to be content just watching the world (as well as people and cars) go by from our bedroom windows.

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Moving

Note: This is the second article that I wrote for The Philippine Online Chronicle.

Next to marriage, no other event in our lives requires so much from us, both physically and mentally, as moving.

Almost everyone’s done it at least once at some point in their lives —some, more frequently than the rest.

It could be just across the street, the next town, another city, or, for the more adventurous: a foreign country.

Reasons vary for moving: New job or a job transfer. Better home. Cheaper rent, and in some cases, avoiding creditors.

Ever since our prehistoric cave-dwelling ancestors — one of whom we shall call, Og the caveman — discovered the existence of another world beyond the tall mountains and faraway hills, where grasses were greener (isn’t it always?) and wild games abound, the urge to look for and explore new territories has become an integral part of his very existence — and in many cases, his very survival.

Fast-forward 50,000 years, and Og the caveman’s descendants, now more than a billion strong, are still as restless and footloose as their hairy, club-carrying, nomadic ancestors.

As a modern-day descendant (aren’t we all?) of this intrepid explorer I have proudly carried on that nomadic tradition four times in my more than four decades in this world, with the last move, as recently as last month when I uprooted myself from a place I’ve known all my life.

My reason for moving to another city isn’t for economic reasons though, nor was it for my own survival (we’ve since gone a long way from just being food gatherers and hunters), but rather, for the sake my own sanity. The old neighborhood where I grew up has changed drastically, not for the better unfortunately, but for the worse.

Illegal vendors, pedicabs and haphazardly parked jeepneys now rule the once vibrant, but peaceful street where, just a decade ago, you could still drive through without much of a hassle.

That part of Manila that I used to call home has now become, in my own words: a little patch of hell on earth.

Click here to read more.

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And I thought I’d never see the day. It seems that the DOJ (Department of Justice) has done something right for once, by throwing the book at those trigger-happy cops whose unwarranted use of deadly force caused the death of, among others, an innocent man and his 7 year-old daughter in late 2008.

In any police operation, the safety of the innocent civilians always take precedence over that of the objective. The BS about confusion setting in during gun battles hence, the collateral damage, is just that… Bull S**t.

Even in the heat of battle, law enforcement operatives must be able to distinguish between the good guys and the bad. After all, that “S” in SAF (Special Action Force) stands for “special”, which means that whoever wears a vest with those three letters emblazoned on it, is trained specifically for this type of operation.

Chilling account by witnesses of how the so-called special cops followed the wounded victim — who, at the time, was trying to take his wounded daughter to safety — and shot him in the head without even trying to identify him, clearly shows the lapse in operational procedure… as well as the psychological make-up of our men in uniform.

It is obvious that the cops were clearly in control of the situation, and just as well, out of control themselves.

I guess this gives an entire new meaning to that phrase: “Kill them all and let God sort them out“, huh?

there was no direct aggression foisted on them, and without first ascertaining their identities, as a consequence of which Lia died, and for shooting an unarmed defenseless and unarmed civilian in the person of Jun de Vera, who merely tried to secure Lia to a safe place, respondents from the SAF and HPG are liable for murder, qualified by the abuse of superior strength,” – State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano

Well said, but I am not about to pop the cork out of the champagne bottle yet. At least not until each and every one of those killers-in-uniform are safely behind bars, among the the most hardened criminals on earth.

Unfortunately, given that cops take care of their own (as shown by their contempt and continued non-appearance in court), I won’t be surprised if they get an out-of-jail pass, and see them out on the street armed to the teeth and itching for the next operation.

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