Monday, July 28, 2008

109 Claps for the 2008 SONA

Amidst all the protests, walkouts and dressing up a la red carpet premiere, the recently concluded State of the Nation Address had a simple message: government is doing something.

As I always say to my jaded, disoriented, and dismayed colleagues from the private sector, in fairness to PGMA, the SONA is really telling the truth. It is true that we reached new highs in the fiscal and monetary side of the economic spectrum, it is true that NFA rice is still the cheapest in Asia. It is true that our credit rating has remained stable this year. As this is one of the most anticipated days in the Philippine political system, the last thing that this administration would do is report false facts. Thus, the 109 claps that highlighted 109 achievements and pledges, are true to its form.

What went wrong then? Of course, there are always to sides to every story. And obviously, the administration would only highlight the good points and definitely be silent on the bad points. Would you report your misgivings to a thesis defense? Would you report your failures and lapses in an investigatory project? That is precisely what just happened in SONA. Unfortunately, it failed to highlight points that really mattered to the masses, which is the majority of the Filipino population. What happened to free education? What's the progress of social projects? How is poverty being alleviated? How can we counter inflation? How do we improve job generation?These and a few more points are what some of our masses were expecting from an hour of speech. Unfortunately, there is only too few to highlight on these points, thus they deem the SONA uninteresting. Lying and failuer to mention are two different things. The only problem of the last SONA was that it failed to say things that mattered most to the majority of the population (except of course for the 90-day texting discount!)

Another thing is the usual highlighting of best practices and isolated events. Just like what Sen. Mar Roxas mentioned (I cannot recall the exact words), there are some accomplishments in the SONA that were too isolated. We just hope that these isolated events become the general picture in the near future.

The next two years will be very crucial for the President. These two years will be the defining years of her political career. If anyone would recall the President's ten-point agenda and BEAT THE ODDS, these two years are teh culminating years for them. Hopefully there is still enough time.

Despite all these bickerings and one-sided accomplishment reports, I still believe that there is hope for this country. As long as the President receives claps from the selected audience, that means there are still developments in the country that is worth listening, that is worth applauding. We just hope that in the next SONAs to come, there will be applauses coming from more than just the seating capacity of the House of Representatives.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Abbey Road (?!)

Sarap talaga bumiyahe. This is probably one of the best trips I've taken...

Puwede na kaming maging bandista...

Photo taken at Man-made Forest, Bohol - 2006

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tac Returns!

Our dear barkada, Isaac Aquino, got back in the Philippines after a 6- (or was it 7?) year stay in Japan. He was here for a business trip. We were lucky to share a few laughs and advantures with him on Sunday, July 20.

From L-R: Mike, Kit, Tac, PJ, RT, Me

We met at lunch time and went home past midnight. What transpired in between is a series of stories, punchlines, binge-eating and drinking, and a whole lot of fun!

From Mike's place, we went to Dencio's in Robinson's Place to give Tac his share of oil and cholesterol. Afterwards, I made them try my favorite Persian Food restaurant located in the heart of Ermita, Shawarma Snack Center!

After filling our tummies with Mediterranean Food, we then moved to Bonifacio High Street and there capped our night with a few more bottles of beer. Boomie, GP and Jacqui followed us in Roadhouse.
The gang with the traditional Japanese peace sign

Welcome back, brother! See you next month (if your schedule permits).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Championship Calibre

Rookie superstars, sophomores with renewed vigor and spunky, and veteran mainstays who decided to make it better this year. This is what the Ateneo Blue Eagles is composed of this year, as the UAAP Season 71 Basketball begins this month.

Led by the hot hands of Veteran player-turned-TV host Chris Tiu, the Ateneo Blue Eagles indeed is one team to beat in this year's UAAP season. The loss of the Eagles' height due to the departure of big men Ford Arao and Zion Laterre was compensated by the improvement of their rising stars Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Mike Baldos and Nonoy Baclao, and the return of the erring Power Forward Jobe Nkemakolam. Ateneo also added more vigor, youth and firepower by recruiting highschool standouts Ryan Buenafe, Nico Salva, and Justin Chua. All these alongside the playmaking capabilities of Jai Reyes and Kirk Long, the speed and agility of Yuri Escueta and Eric Salamat, and the auspices of grandslam coach Norman Black. The Blue Eagles are indeed a team to beat in this year's UAAP Season.

The Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles 2008 Lineup:
Chris Tiu
Yuri Escueta
Rabeh Al-Husaini
Severino Baclao
Mike Baldos
Kirk Long
Eric Salamat
Jai Reyes
Ryan Buenafe
Nico Salva
Jobe Nkemakolam
Raymond Austria
Justin Chua
Vince Burke
Mike Sumalinog

My fearless forecast in the UAAP Season 71?

Final Four: Ateneo, La Salle, FEU, UST

Championship: Ateneo vs. La Salle

Champion: Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles

GoAteneo! One Big Fight!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Talk N' Text vs. Purefoods Basketbrawl

aTama lang yung ginawa ni James Yap. Dapat talaga may hangganan ang pagiging mabait ng mga Pinoy eh. Ang yabang pa ng import na si Terrence Leather, siya pa tong nambato ng bola kay Jon Dan Salvador. Siguro nasaktan dahil malakas din katawan ni Jon Dan eh. Pero sa play na iyon, kahit ulit-ulitin pa, talagang si Leather and nagsimula ng away. Eh simpleng banggaan lang naman ang namagitan sa kanila eh. Napikon lang talaga ang import. Ayos lang yung ginawa ni James Yap para manahimik. Pasalamat nga siya di siya kinuyog ng mga taga-Purefoods eh. Sa larong kalye nga pag nag-angas ang dayo sa katabing village/ baranggay, kuyog kaagad yan ng mga kapitbahay. Eh itong si Leather, ang lakas ng loob mag-angas dito, di niya alam na dayo lang siya. hehehe.