Monday, October 29, 2007

Executive Clemency

The past month has exploded not just some diesel and methane gas (or so they say) in Glorietta, but a series of issues that overlapped each other. The most recent of which is the unprecedented (but very much expected) executive clemency (a.k.a. presidential pardon) of former President Joseph Estrada. Thanks to this, the public was once again veered away from the controversies that the administration has been avoiding to answer, in one reason or another.

With the most recent pardon of former President Estrada, we'll see a lot of changes and development in the coming months, namely:

1. Silence of Erap from issues regarding the current Presidency ("never bite the hand that feeds you")
2. Political accomodations from the Erap camp (read: COMELEC).
3. Former Mayor Atienza and incumbent Mayor Lim shall now join forces (?!)
4. Clarifications about ZTE and cash gift shall no longwer be necessary
5. We'll forever be made to believe that the Glorietta incident was merely an accident, and never a bombing

These and a lot more are in store for us in the coming months. We'll see an even more exciting political situation. In the end of all these "hullabaloo thing" (per Gov. Vilma Santos), the victims are the people who originally believed in what they were fighting for. Now, the recent developments made them more confused; definitely not united, as what the administration tells us of the purpose for the pardon.

Let's just hope the administration knows what it's doing. Time is running out.

"Siyempre papasalamatan ko po iyung ating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa kanyang pagbibigay sa akin ng executive clemency. Kung hindi niya ako binigyan ng executive clemency ay hindi niyo ako kaharap ngayong gabi. Kaya pasalamatan po nating siya, palakpakan po natin." -- Former President Joseph Estrada, in his address to the people of San Juan.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Glorietta, October 19, 2007

It's been more than two years since the dreaded Valentine's Day bombing in the Metro. Now, here we go again. The country was once again rocked by a "bombing" (or should I say accident?!?!) incident in one of the busiest malls in the country. The Glorietta incident brought another round of fears and questions for the Filipino people.

It's understandable how policemen handled the situation. As much as possible, they try their best to mitigate the possible post-incident disasters by sugar-coating what had happened. Of course, they would try their best to make it look like it was not a bomb, because if it was, a lot more things have to be cleared.

It would be much easier to conclude the incident with a simple "accident" so that authorities would just give sanctions to the Ayala Land officials and the case will be closed. They just have to advise that diesel and methane should not be mixed (that explains why there are very limited comfort rooms in a gasolline station). But if, indeed it is a bomb, authorities would have to answer the following questions:
a. What chemicals were used? C4? RBX? The chemical composition of the bomb would narrow down our choices on the persons/ groups responsible.

b. Who is behind the incident? Terrorist groups? Military adventurists? The government itself? The public is more than confused on who should be blamed for the incident. To the people, even the President is a suspect, saying that GMA is once again doing a Marcos, masterminding a massive explosion in a central business district to veer away media attention from the major controversies she's in, latest of which was the "gift-giving" of P500K in the Palace. If not the government, who else? Militant groups like MILF and NPA are famous for staging a bombing, then will admit the incident eventually.

b. What is the motive? Political adventurism? genocide? Simply having fun? Economic sabotage? Throwing away attention from current political controversies? World peace? aww come on, there must be a reason behind it.

c. What's next? If something like this happened in one of the busiest malls in the country, then this incident could happen to any other place. We must be well-prepared as early as now. Our mindset should once again be on the alert side.

But of course, the economic and political repercussion of concluding the incident into a bombing could be gargantuan. Investors will once again be jittery of the economic client since we all know that a stable economy is a function of good security situation. Bad image will once again result to travel advisories. Less tourists mean less income. And the rest need not be further expounded.

The Philippine National Police should finalize their report soon or else more and more speculations will arise.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Revisiting Wanbol University

Maraming salamat kay Jay Taruc para sa napakasayang palatuntunang I-Witness noong Lunes, Oktubre 8, 2007. Itinampok niya ang sitcom na talaga nga namang malaki ang naiambag sa kosepto ng katatawanan sa industriya ng telebisyon: Ang Iskul Bukol!!!

Panalo talaga sina Tito at Joey Escalera, at si Victorio Ungasis, na ginampanan ng wala nang iba kundi sina Tito, Vic at Joey. Kasama ang ilang mga cast na sina Tonette Macho, Bibeth Orteza, Mely Tagasa, Direk Bert de Leon, Producer Boy Gatuz at ilan pang mga hiningan ng panayam, mulilng binuhay ni Jay Taruc ang makulay na palatuntunan na uminog sa paaralang Wanbol University. Malamang naman ay walang lalaban sa akin kung sinabi kong sila ang isa sa mga nag-"revolutionize" ng situational comedy sa Pilipinas, kaalinsabay ng John en Marsha.

Isa pa, malaki ang naging epekto ng palabas na ito sa tunay na buhay ng mga paaralan sa Pilipinas. Sa aking sariling karanasan, nagkaroon ng panahon na ang pang-asar naming mga bata sa maitim na mama sa mga kanto ay "Mang Temi." Maging ang mga katagang "putok" at "topak" na madalas nating gamitin ay impluwensya pala ng palabas na ito. Astig. :)

Para lang hindi ko makalimutan, isusulat ko dito ang mga binigay na trivia ni Jay Taruc sa I-Witness (harinawa'y maalala ko lahat):

1. Ang Lapis sa logo ng Iskul Bukol ay may numero 13 sa halip na 1, o 2 sa kadahilanang sa Channel 13 nila ipinapalabas ang programa.

2. Ang unang pangalan ni Ms. Tapia ay Liwayway.

3. Ang mga salitang "putok" at "topak" ay unang nabigkas sa sitcom na ito.

4. Ang Escalera na ginamit na apelyido nina Tito at Joey ay hango sa paborito nilang pampalipas oras sa tuwing taping: Mahjong.

5. Debut sitcom ni Vic Sotto ang Iskul Bukol. Siya ay 22 taong gulang, habang si Tito ay 29, at si Joey ay 31.

6. Nakuha nina Tito at Joey Escalera ang konsepto ng pagsuot ng letrang T at J na initials ng pangalan nila sa komiks na Archie. Madalas din nila itong suot dahil tamad din silang maglaba.

Siguro trivia din ang mga ito pero hindi binanggit bilang trivia sa episode ng I-witness:

1. Si Dely Atay-Atayan ang gumanap na nanay ni Vic Ungasis.

2. Lumabas rin sa sitcom na ito ang mga batikang mang-aawit at artistang sina Joey Albert, Helen Gamboa, at Sharon Cuneta.

Maasabi ko talagang isa akong masugid na tagahanga ng TVJ. :)

"Eskuwela kuwela to, dito'y enjoyable. Konting aral lang, konting bulakbol. Dito nang lahat madaldal at bulol, dito na nga. Iskul Bukol."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cheers, UAAP Season 70!

UE made history yesterday after losing to La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP Men's basketball championships at the Araneta Coliseum. After achieving a rare 14-0 sweep of the eliminations, they succumbed to the upbeat Archers, who struggled early in the league to get the Finals. Well at least, UE made history as the first team to sweep the eliminations and didn't win the championship.

Also, La Salle made the record of winning the championship after a one-year suspension. Last year, La Salle was suspended for "accidentally" fielding in ineligible players in the league. As a result, they were stripped off their 2005 championship, suspended for a year, and a dented image. But this time, they seemed to have put all the bad things behind and came back with a big, deafening roar, to beat the Warriors, 2-0 in their best of three championship series. Congrats, La Salle!

Until Season 71... Hopefully UP gets a win in our centennial year.

Season 70 Senior Men's Basketball Highlights:

Most Valuable Player - Jervy Cruz, UST
PSBank Maaasahan Player of the Year - Jervy Cruz, UST

Mythical Five:
Chris Tiu - ADMU
JVee Casio - DLSU

Rico Maerhoffer - DLSU
Mark Borboran - UE

Jervy Cruz - UST

Rookie of the Year:
JR Cawaling - FEU

KFC Assist Delivery Player of the Year: Japs Cuan - UST

SMART Defensive Player of the Year: Edwin Asoro - NU

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Racial Slur

Shame on the writers of the ABC show "Desperate Housewives" on their latest insult on Filipino medical practitioners. This just shows that these writers know nothing about world affairs and current trends so they just needed to blurt out racial slurs like what has been said by Teri Hatcher in the series' season-opener.

Let me just state some facts about the medical industry in the country:

a. It was reported that US will demand more or less 600,000 Filipino medial practitioners in the next 13 years.

b. The Department of Tourism is busy with commercializing Medical Tourism since foreigners come here for surgery, treatment and other medical reasons.

c. Medical schools like UP, UST and UERM have a growing number of "exchange" and foreign students from other countries because they believe that Philippine medical education is cheaper, more reliable and more trusted.

These and a lot more support the fact the Filipino medical practitioners are one of the most competitive in the world, and they do not deserve the slur given by Hatcher and the ABC writers.

Americans should be more responsible with the way they say, do, or write about. They have the top schools in the world, the best companies, the best leaders. With much power and knowledge, much is expected. They blew up this time.

I bleed for the Filipino medical practitioners around the world who suffer the comfort of being with their families, being in their hometown, just to work hard and serve foreigners to the best of their abilities.

We deserve much more respect.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Issues, issues

Just recently, our country has faced the two biggest controversies and issues that the current administration has faced, namely: a) President Estrada's conviction of Plunder over the Sandiganbayan; and b) the National Broadband Network (NBN) - ZTE Corporation scandal. Both issues have a common theme: graft and corruption. The former, a recently-concluded issue which has proven beyond reasonable doubt that indeed, President Estrada committed plunderous acts, biggest of which are the Jose Velarde accounts and the GSIS and SSS kickbacks. The latter is a plunder case in the making. The only question is who to charge.

However, despite these remarkable developments in our country's political climate, our markets have remained resilient and economy is still on the go. Peso is recovering, the stocks are recovering, investors, still coming in.

This somehow reflects the fact that the Philippine populace has been numb and jaded with the current system and is no longer interested in political bickering, mudslinging, debating, and blame-throwing. The Philippine people just want a better way of life, steadfast developments, and poverty alleviation and these issues no longer serve these wants and needs. Thus, less social impact.

Whatever the opposition is brewing next with regard to the ZTE scandal could just be another futile attempt to overthrow the administration they abhor since FPJ's loss to the 2004 elections. To the common people, politicians now look the same. Thanks so much to the fence-sitters and double-crossers.

Hopefully the crooks behind the scandal will be punished soon, just like how the Estrada Plunder case has been vindicated. Alongside this, I hope the populace would be more aware, alert, but resilient to political developments mostly dictated by power hungry politicians and opportunists.