Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Binondo's Ying Ying

Good food with the most influential people of my life? Priceless. :)

Wanton Noodles
Ham Suy Kok and Siopao
Ying Ying

After a tiring journey to Divisoria/Quiapo to look for a decent-looking but cheaply priced barong, we decided to eat at Binondo. Being Chinese food lovers, I told myself that my family should try eating Chinese at Chinatown. After much convincing, they finally relented and off we went to Ying Ying!

Ying Ying is located at Yuchengco St. (formerly Nueva St.), Binondo, Manila. I instantly fell in love with this restaurant after Ms. Isca, our big boss in Marketing, introduced this to me a few weeks ago.

I am a big fan of dimsum and I consider Ying Ying's roster as one of my favorites. I personally like the Hakao, Lo Ma Kai, Ham Suy Kok, Beancurd Roll, and of course, the Sharksfin and Pork Siomai! Not to mention the gargantuanly tasty Siopao! Yahoo!

I'm definitely coming back. You just wait, Ying Ying! I'll try your freash seafood next time! :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Manny Pacquiao: 8-time World Champion (November 14, 2010)

Another fight, another championship. Manny Pacquiao has once again proven that despite his lack of training, he still stands as the best fighter in the Universe by beating a much bigger opponent, Antonio Margarito in what was seen to be the biggest indoor boxing crowd to date that gave Manny his 8th World Title.

People have doubted Manny's readiness for this fight because of lack of focus and lack of training. Still, he proved that he is the best there is, lasting the entire game, giving Margarito two big lumps and a terrible-looking cut, plus a fracture right cheek. Referee should have ended the fight way before round 12, but he and the doctor saw it otherwise and Margarito did not want to give up. The result was an overwhelming scoring disparity, giving Pacquiao the title and breaking his own record of 7 championships.

What was noticeable was Pacquiao's after-game look. He was all beaten up as well, with bruises in the face, a swollen pair of fists, and an aching rib cage. This showed that Margarito also put up a good fight, unlike what we saw of the previously-seen lame Joshua Clottey fight. With that, my utmost respect for Margarito.

What now for Manny Pacquiao? I'd say one more try for Mayweather. If he still chickens out, Manny doesn't need to prove anything anymore. What he needs to do is concentrate on other careers. Or better yet, he should create a stable, develop a breed of young talents, teach them how to reach what he has reached and retire an 8-time champion and count all the savings. If he does a De la Hoya in promotion, he'll make more money than what he's earning now.

Boxing is not forever. By now, at the age of 32, he should start thinking of an exit strategy from a highly successful but very physically draining career of professional boxing. He is this era's greatest fighter and there is not any more opponent who can beat him. Even Floyd Mayweather.

Next fight: I'd say give in to Floyd's whims of a drug test, beat up the guy, give him his first loss of his career, retire a champion, go into business, grow old, write memoirs. A good way to go about a vary illustrious career.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hong Kong - 10-13 October 2010

At last! A stamp in my passport! My first-ever out-of-the-country trip was a "Great Success!"

Shalani's in Wowowillieng Willie?!?!?!

I don't know what's gotten into Shalani Soledad's mind that she suddenly entered the wonderful world of show business. Now, she's one of Willie's co-hosts in the early evening variety show Willieng Willie. I can't understand why, a few days after her mom shows up in the talk show Paparazzi crying her heart out, she suddenly shows up in Willie's new show. If a person commits a crime, the first thing that you ask is what is the motive? :) What could be the motive for Shalani's surprise entry into show business?

My apologies for telling this, but, Shalani needs tons of improvement. She's better off hosting a cooking show or a public service talk show like Damayan or Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko. I'm not saying that these shows suck with their hosts, but Shalani's demeanor and manner of hosting is very calm, very relaxing. A show like Willieng Willie requires much energy and enthusiasm. Right now, she's miles away from being comfortably excited and enthusiastic. Probably it's because of stage fright or something, but something just isn't right...

She should have just stuck into politics and public service. Or if she really wanted to enter into the world of hosting, she should have chosen to host a public service program like "Ako Mismo," alongside Christ Tiu.

Well, there's still time. While Willieng Willie is not yet a major hit, she could either brush up on her hosting or she could reconsider the simpler life of not being in the limelight.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Protocol (?!)

Looks like PNoy's men (women) are still not yet used to being in the limelight of politics/governance. Latest incident on Mai Mislang's miscues and utterly insensitive messages over social networking site Twitter gives the President another wake-up call on his constituents. How can a public figure, in this case, an Undersecretary, be posting unnecessary feedback on official trips and business? She violated various diplomatics and official protocols that even the simplest of career government officials know.

First and foremost, she should not have told even a single tinge of what transpired in the meeting, unless it was officially mentioned and she has the authority to do such. Second, she should NEVER, EVER give an unsolicited comment, especially about a country's culture or way of life. We should have learned from the insults that we got from Claire Danes, or even Chip Tsao in the past. Do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you. This time, we hit the first blow. It's as if our streets are much safer, or our wines much tastier.

Malacanang officials should learn more about diplomacy and public image or else the President's men will be the ones who will destroy the image of a President who projects leadership by example. If leaders like Mai thrive in Malacañang, looks like there will continuously be a disconnect between our dreams of change and reality. Such an irony for a Presidency's communications group conveying a totally misled and careless message to a venue that is closely monitored by rumor-mongers and pundits.

You can see PNoy's sense of forgiveness and it is seen that he believes in second chances. Well, we only have a pair of feet and a Presidency who keeps on shooting itself on the foot might slowly become paraplegic and useless.

My suggestion: If you can't handle the pressure of being a public figure, please do not stay under the President's wings.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cebu: Take Two - 25 September 2010

I had another chance to visit Cebu and this time, I was able to visit Sto. Niño Church and Magellan's Cross in broad daylight.

As a fan of Philippine History, I personally made sure that I visit this place again. For me, this cross is the most significant and important cross in our nation's Christian history. Because of the cross, we were introduced to the teachings and preachings of Christ. We were enlightened, we were saved.

We were also put in bondage and enslaved, but later on freed and became independent. The colonizers ruled and left, but their most precious gift is still ever present in our daily lives, with this cross as the symbol.

There are lots more to see in Cebu, and I'm definitely coming back to see them.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Barangay Elections 2010

Barangay elections are looking even more glamorous lately. I could recall a few years back during barangay elections, you can only see posters of candidates near the barangay halls. Some were mere handwritten signages in Manila Paper, some printed artwork in cartolina, or painted writings in sacks. Now, times have changed. People, candidates now spend thousands of pesos printing tarpaulins, posters, calendars, flyers, etc. People spend for the barangay elections now! The question is what is their motivation for spending such money? I just hope that it is for simple and pure sense of service and nothing more.

Vote Wisely!

Busy Days are Coming

Days have become busier lately. it's less than ten weeks to go before the big day! And this is on top of things coming up in work and personal. Thus, the lack of time to exhaust nerve cells in writing an entry. Thank God I was given the time, at 1:27am on Barangay Elections day, to write a few notes. For October, I was always on the go:

1. Office. I physically transferred office from one to another. Same department, though.
2. Cebu. I was able to go to the Queen City of the South for the Second Time! I, along with a few officemates held a Chinese Mooncake Festival forum sponsored by no less than Philam Life. :) Thank God I was able to see the Magellan's Cross in broad daylight!
3. Hong Kong. I experienced my first-ever Out of the county trip! It was a day to remember! 10/10/10 was the date! Ayos!
4. Batangas. I went to Batangas City for a OFW Family Day event sponsored by Philam Life. We can see the Power of We going the extra mile to reach several sectors of the society, to make them more aware of the power of insurance, and the sustained power of Philam Life.

Pictures and details to follow. :)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

NBA 2k11 - October 5, 2010

How can you not stop thinking about NBA 2K11 if you see ads like this:

and this:

Now why are you delayed in the Philippines, dear NBA 2K11?! Please please please launch it here now!

Can't wait to play Michael Jordan as he dunks on the faces of them young ones!

I just hope it still suits my PC's specs...

Lakers' three-peat? In 2K11, maybe not. :)

Monday, October 04, 2010

What's with the RH Bill??

Why doesn't the church like families have an extra choice called the Reproductive Health Bill?? Why does the church hate it so much that even the son of an all-out devout Catholic, who had no other intentions but the welfare of his countrymen, will be subject to excommunication?

I haven't read the entire text, but as far as I have read it, there is nothing highly contentious with the bill. It simply gives the family the freedom to choose more options. What is wrong with that??

Here's the text of the bill from JLP Law:


And since when did we forget this particular text from the Constitution:

Article II, Section 6. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.

What part of this text is difficult to understand?

It's about time we start opening up our options. Time is running out. We need to make a change. Noynoy is trying to infuse some changes, and one of the major groups that pledged to support him in this change is turning against him.

So when do we pledge to start with our development?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

UAAP Season 73: Ateneo's Three-peat and UP's Return

Thank God I had two bets in the UAAP. Both of them stepped up to bring out the best in them. And they both were successful.

University of the Philippines Maroons showed that they are indeed the country's best cheerdance team as they took on another year as champions of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Thanks to them they did not bring back last year's Blue Book. :) I know that the concept is good last year, with the Blue Book and all. But if you have foreign judges who don't even know what a Blue book is, they would simply ignore the concept. Good thing they injected a few acts about festivals, some points that made us famous worldwide. nice act! See the embedded video below:

And of course, my other team, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, won their first-ever UAAP Men's Basketball 3-peat Championship! They joined the ranks of La Salle, UST, UE and FEU as one of them team that have already won grandslam championships.

It was a very difficult season for Ateneo as three of their starters, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao, and Jai Reyes, graduated last year. But the guys stepped up as Kirk Long, Nico Salva and Ryan Buenafe took on their respective leaderships roles alongside Team Captain Eric Salamat. Salamat showed his dribbling and passing prowess, while Salva and Buenafe had their of outstanding plays. With a youthful supporting casts headed by sophomore Justin Chua, big men Jumbo Escueta, Art de la Cruz and Frank Golla, and the maturity of mainstays Bacon Austria and streak-shooting Emman Monfort, the Blue Eagles are indeed up to the challenge of bringing back home the championship and gain their first-ever three-in-a-row. They showed critics that they are really a team to beat, despite the lack in size.

FEU had their share of superstars, headed by Season 73 Most Valuable Player RR Garcia, Smart Gilas trainees JR Cawaling and Aldrech Ramos, veterans Paul Sanga and Reil Cervantes, and rookie phenom Terrence Romeo. But in the end, the team with the bigger heart and the greater will to win prevailed. And it showed in the finals season.

FEU cruised the regular season as they only registered two losses, one from Adamson and another from La Salle. But in the final four, it was a strange surprise that this team, who was perceived to be inevitable, almost lost to the 4th-seeded young squad of La Salle. They still won in the overtime. In that game, it showed that they had their weaknesses. And with the seen weaknesses, Ateneo stepped up.

Ateneo, on the other hand, showed that they wanted to go back to the finals and face the team that beat them twice in the regular season. The Blue Eagles defeated Adamson in a commanding, power-packed game. Adamson had an equally powerful cast with Lester Alvarez, Alex Nuyles, Jan Colina, Jerrick Canada, and Eric Camson. In the end, the championship experience in Ateneo prevailed.

The finals began last week, Saturday. I was in Cebu so I wasn't able to watch the entire game. Thank God to Cebu Airport's free wifi I was able to watch the final minutes of the game, with Ateneo leading by at least 23 points. The game ended 72-49. I thought maybe the FEU squad was just warming up for the finals, that's why the first game turned into a blowout.

The second game last Thursday was more intense. I thought in the first quarter that Ateneo became too confident, as they trailed 22-13. Looks like Coach Norman gave them inspiring words as the first quarter ended, and their intensity wnet back to normal, making the game a certified nailbiter. The game was not decided until the last 50 seconds or so, with Ryan Buenafe hitting the long-distance dagger from at least 1 feet away from the professional three-point line. FEU tried to come back with Reil Cervantes' long distance bomb, however, it was just 1 second away from the game. The game was decided at 65-62, with Ateneo taking home the third championship in three years! Go Ateneo!

Here's a glimpse of the final minutes of play, including Buenafe's three-point bomb. Boom!

Now, Ateneo has three years of bragging rights with its three magnificent championships, its first-ever three-peat performance.

As for UP, it needs to have major overhaul of its basketball program. I hope they get it going soon. But for the cheerdance, it has yet again redeemed the State U after having ended the basketball competition with a winless record.

As for me, Thank God I am rooting for two teams in the UAAP. And both of them became champions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Proposal - A short recount of events...

A short but sweet recollection of my proposal:

Setting: Corregidor (in front of the Corregidor Inn, just few steps from the Philippine Flag), November 29 , 2010, 8:30pm.

After a wordy and stuttered background speech, I knelt down in front of her, under the stars and beside the Philippine flag. As I was kneeling down, I asked her: "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?"

And she uttered the teo most beautiful and memorable words of my life: "Of Course!"

And the rest is history. On November 29, 2009, I was engaged to my best friend, my dancing partner, my duet, my partner in crime, my soul mate. I thank God everyday for that day. I thank God everyday for bringing her to me. :)

Preparing for the Right Words to Say (Under the Malinta Tunnel)
After the speech, the kneeling down, the tears of joy and the "Of Course." :)
Lady of the Ring. :)

Enough cheese. :) If I was a 5-year-old kid, I'd say "Ewwwwww!" hehe


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gary V.: Soul in Motion - September 16, 2010, Music Museum

I always admired how Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano, still does it on the dance floor. After 25 years of being onstage, the energy is still strong and very much alive! I always wanted to watch him live so that I could witness how much energy he puts in on that stage. Last Thursday, September 16, I was finally given the opportunity to watch Gary V. live at the Music Museum. The concert is called Soul in Motion, a benefit concert for three beneficiaries, which includes UNICEF and Compassion for One. The concert will run for three consecutive Thursdays and Fridays starting September 16.

Thanks to my officemate who gave me VIP passes, I was able to watch Gary V in the front row of the Music Museum! I was at least three feet away from the bassist! Whew! :) The energy of Mr. Pure Energy is very much felt throughout the stage!

Thank God he sang most of my favorite songs of him: Oldies like Take me out of the Dark, Sana Maulit Muli, Shout for Joy, and Eto na Naman. New revivals like Tayong Dalawa were also sung as a medley to reminisce the songs that were used in both TV series and Blockbuster Movies.

Special guests were his prodigy, Duncan Ramos, and one of his closest friends in showbiz, Jericho Rosales.

I had a great time singing along with his repertoire. I personally loved his rendition of Al Jarreau's "Spain!" Galinggggggggg!

In the concert, Gary V. asked for some requests if ever we wanted to hear some of his old songs. I shouted and requested for my personal favorite, Each Passing Night! He then looked down to me and pointed at me and he said, "I hear a lot of requests around, but this young man wanted me to sing an oldie. Hear goes." And he did a few lines of Each Passing Night! Thanks, Man! :)

Cheers to Mr. Pure Energy! May you have many more years of soulful and lively concerts!

Some pictures.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tasty Dumplings' Tasty Porkchop

Have you tried this sumptuous, juicy, oily, crunchy Tasty Dumplings breaded pork chop? I've been looking for porkchops similar to this but nothing matches its tastiness and its crunchiness. And for it's price, it really provides good value for your money. For less than P150, you already have a complete meal of Pork Chop, soup (comes for free), and their famous thirst-quencher Winter Melon juice.

My dad got the Hongma Rice, while my brother ordered the Spareribs Rice. All were good pork! :)

I know of two Tasty Dumplings branches, one in Binondo and another near Banawe. If you're looking for an oily afternoon of fun, crunchy pork chop, try Tasty Dumplings' breaded porkchop! For me, this is one of the best pork chops in town. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ber na Ber na!

Finally approaching the Ber months... As early as now, radio stations have already started playing the familiar Christmas tunes, and my dad is starting to hum them over breakfast! We are fast approaching the 100-day countdown of the world's most-awaited holiday. Time has been very cooperative and he gave me a breezing 2010, special thanks to a flurry of events that transpired this year. Now, on to the next 100 days. This will be the fastest 100 days of my life, methinks. :)

Lots of things to do, very little time. This is it! hehe


Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Expendables (a useless review)

What do you do when you see John Mclaine, The Terminator and Rambo meeting in a church about an assasination job? You'd laugh your ass off right? That's what I just did when I watched the Expendables last Monday, during the National Heroes' Day break. It was an apt time to watch my childhood heroes in one movie during our day of Heroes. :)

My brother said "The title should have been "Rambo and Friends." Precisely! How can you possibly defeat Rambo, The Transporter, Wong Fei Hong, and the Universal Soldier if they team up and ask for help from Randy Couture and Terry Crews? Even the most wicked traditional villain in Eric Roberts can't stand a chance!

Indeed, it was a waste of time, story-wise. But I sure had a lot of fun watching all those things blowing up and all those people getting killed! I missed having to watch movies without much thought so I really enjoyed this movie! The last movie I watched was Inception and it sure did F*ck up my mind, just like what the reviews have written. But Expendables? You need not bring your brain in the cinema and you'll still get satisfied. :)

I hope we get to see a similar movie in the Philippines. What do you do when you see Ronnie Ricketts, Jeric Raval, Lito Lapid, Robin Padilla, Philip Salvador, Raymart Santiago, Ace Espinosa and Dante Varona in one movie? Just like in the Expendables, I'd laugh my ass off. :)


In the tradition of the electronic offshore gatherings comes:

E-kasal... Kung hindi ka makakauwi sa kasal ng iyong minamahal, Go Electronic Kasal. hehehe

Palagay ko mauuso ito pagdating ng panahon...


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Serbia vs. Greece Friendly Basketball Turns into a Fist Fight

In basketball, when players get all intense, sometimes it's very hard to stop them. And sometimes, players go too far.

In this "friendly" game between the Serbians and the Greeks held at Athens last August 19, what was supposed to be a no-bearing game turned into one of the most talked-about basketball games this year. Players from both sides hit a flurry of punches against each other. One player, Oklahoma City's Nenad Krstic, even did a John Cena and threw a chair towards an injured Greek, leaving the poor guy bloodied in the head.

You really can't easily stop a heightened level of testosterone. You just have to wait for it to subside so that all things will calm down.

The Philippines also had its share of basketbrawls. Who would forget the bitter rivalry of Crispa and Toyota that often end up in fist fights? I myself have witnessed, and even figured in a few basketball fights as well. And as always, in the end cooler heads will prevail, and the team that has more focus and less fury wins.

I never got to know who won this game and didn't care because after all, this game was just designed as a tune-up for the upcoming World Basketball Championships. It was quite funny to see high level of play happening in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Now they have to face sanctions by the FIBA.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Pamamanhikan Story - December 12, 2009

You just gotta love Filipino traditions. In every life moment, Filipinos have their way of doing it. Birthdays, baptisms, house blessings, weddings... We Filipinos have our share of traditions in our culture. This is what sets us apart from the rest.

I just had my share of tradition last December: The Pamamanhikan. I tried to look for related literature in the internet and I came across an article from www.kasal.com. I also saw a short description in wikifilipino:


  • Filipinong ritwal
  • Nanggaling sa salitang panik, na ibig sabihin ay pataas o pumanhik sa baytang ng hagdanan
  • Pahintulot upang makasal sa kapareha
  • Paghingi ng bendisyon at pagsang-ayon bago makasal
  • Ang lalaking ikakasal ay inaasahang ipahayag ang kanyang intensyon na pakasalanan ang babae
  • Ang pamilya ng lalaki ay magtutungo sa bahay ng babae upang pormal na mag-alok ng kasal
  • Ang mga magulang ng ikakasal ay nag-aalok ng tulong
  • Ang pamilya ng lalaki ay inaasahang aako sa mga gagastusin sa kasal
  • Ang pamilya ng babae ay maari ding tumulong sa mga gastusin
  • Ang kaugaliang ito ay nanggaling pa sa mga Malay
  • Ito ang panahon na itinatakda ang petsa ng kasal
  • Nangangahulugan ng paggalang at pagrespeto sa mga magulang ng ikakasal
  • Ang partido ng lalaki ay nagbibigay ng pasalubong sa partido ng babae
  • Okasyon na ang mga magulang ng bawat partido ay magkakakilanlan
  • Sa kasalukuyan, ang magnobyo na ang nagbabayad sa mga gastusin para sa kasal
  • Ang kaugalian na ito ay sumisimbulo ng karangalan at respeto sa magulang

Other than this, I could no longer see an article that best explains how this tradition is conducted. Perhaps it has become a lost art that the virtual community can no longer write precise articles about it. :)

As for me and Bubbles, my pamamanhikan experience was truly memorable. My parents have known Bubbles since college and her mom already knows me for quite some time. Everything is a-ok, except that our parents have not formally met each other. They might have bumped into each other during graduation because Bubbles and I came from the same college, but they have never been formally introduced.

When we decided that we will hold the "Pamamanhikan" on December 12, I became a bit nervous at first since this will mark the "official" preparation stage for our wedding. I am used to being at the forefront of things but this one felt so different. It was a mixed feeling of nervousness and excitement.

December 12 came. We were complete: my parents and my brother were with me. We went to their house at around 7 pm. We brought some food, ready for a small salu-salo. Her mom, being an expert cook, insisted that she will cook some dishes as well.

When I stepped into their house, it felt so surreal. The scene of my parents shaking the hands of Bubbles' mother and greeting her sisters was like another one of my vivid dreams. I suddenly felt speechless, timid and a bit nervous. But on top of all that, I was so happy because our parents instantly clicked. Not much effort was exerted, everything went smoothly.

Then came the serious talk. Thanks to my tactless mother who initiated the wedding conversations by saying "Mukhang may sasabihin ka Jerv." I almost fell off my chair when I heard those words. That's when another lightning struck me inside and gave me a good jolt, and then I started uttering the most serious words I have ever mentioned in my life. I cracked a few jokes by acting as if we were in a Senate hearing, but of course combined with the seriousness of asking the blessing of her mom for us to live happily ever after.

Her mom's reply were the most comforting, assuring words of the night. She jokingly replied with a Senatorial tone, "That's moot and academic." Then she followed it up with a tough, resounding "Granted." The sound of a Senate gavel was the only thing lacking in that scene, and we could have come to a recess or adjourn immediately. That, my friends, was my pamamanhikan experience. Believe it or not, I could still recall every single event that transpired as if it happened yesterday. Well, I guess that is what normally happens to an event you most cherish. My pamamanhikan was truly happy and unforgettable. Thank God for Bubbles' family's acceptance when I asked her hand for marriage.

It seemed that they enjoyed each other's company that night! We ended at half past midnight, an indication that the pamamanhikan went perfect. :)

A few snapshots:

Clockwise from left: Ichi, Petite, Mom, Jazer, Bub, Dad, Me, Jam, Bub's Mom, Niña, Concep

A few more days and Bubbles and I will finally tie the knot and will be spending our lives together, happily ever after. We'll have more of these dinners but this time, I'll be less nervous and there won't be "on the spot" questions. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quirino Hostage - August 23, 2010

Today, August 24, as my running buddies and I were doing our usual jog around Quirino Grandstand, we stopped at what remained from a scene of one of the bloodiest hostage events in Manila. The Hong Thai bus, with its tempered glass shattered and sheets bloodied, still remained in the Quirino Grandstand as journalists and bystanders stood and reminisced how this 12-hour standoff took place and ended in a bloody manner. I saw a few Chinese journalists there, and a few in front of Manila Pavilion, the hotel where these hostages, some Hong Kong nationals, were billeted. No one could imagine how this supposedly "under control" hostage situation would end up in a bloody way.

My office is just a few blocks away from the scene. As I mentioned earlier, we do a few laps in the Grandstand at least twice a week. Never did we think that this generally peaceful tourist destination would bear witness to one of the most violent hostage situations in our nation's capital.

Whose fault is it? To me, it's everybody's fault. The media, the police, the negotiators, the ground commander. All of them contributed for this to incident to go haywire.

The media are supposed to be the bastion of truth and the bearer of all information. What the media showed yesterday are very limited, and every movement of the hostage-taker's family was sensationalized. One of the biggest reasons for this tragedy is the sight of Captain Rolando Mendoza's brother being "arrested" by the police. I place quotation marks to the word arrest because as what the police said, they did not arrest him. But because he saw a few mediamen, he acted as if he was being persecuted. What did the media people do? They approached him, bloated the scene, and delivered the wrong message. This triggered Capt. Mendoza to get hostile.

There were several negotiators involved. No one was in charge. It was every man for himself. I am not an expert in hostage situations but judging from the way this was handled, no one took this seriously and nobody headed the team. And for that, nobody thought of a way to expedite this situation.

The police obviously are not prepared for these types of crises. If it were a more insane hostage-taker, these policemen could have been killed because their movements were too slow. As me and my officemates were discussing about this today, the way the police acted yesterday was similar to a Three Stooges or your regular slapstick police sitcom. They could not break through the hydraulic door. They tried to pull the door out but the rope cut loose. They tried to throw in tear gas and flashbang, and some haven't found their way inside. One tear gas actually bounced out of the bus, leaving the policemen outside coughing because of the putrid smell. After the incident, rescuers needed to go in and out of the bus because of the smell of the tear gas. Gas masks were never found in the scene. After the situation, crowds of people were able to get near the supposedly dangerous crime scene. No cordoning took place. Obviously, a lot of work should be done by the police force in order to get smarter in situations like this. We just were not prepared at all.

However way we look at this situation, there were obvious and apparent lapses on all parts, from all persons involved. In this day and age where people have become more intelligent, thus tend to get more insane, we, the media, the police force, government, should all be prepared for crises such as this. This just showed that the real action is not within the four walls of Congress and Senate, it is in the streets where nobody pays attention to. We often take mundane things for granted only to find out that some day, one person just snaps out of it, draws out a gun and starts shooting. It's about time we wake up, face the real social problems, and deal with them head on.

To those governments who condemn this incident by issuing a travel warning, please remember that this incident is isolated and should not be received on a large scale. We are trying our best to prevent another situation to happen. It is simply unfair for you to judge us for an isolated case. I hope you reconsider.

Let us pray to the victims that they may rest in peace. Let us also pray that this will never happen again.

Give Peace a Chance

If these guys can do it, so can we! :)

This photo was taken yesterday morning in front of our house. It's good to see our feline friend living harmoniously with his canine counterpart.

Good to see a dog and a cat lying together under one car. :)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Office Fun: TODAS!!!

An effective way to bring back your smile during office weeks: Set up a weekly salu-salo with your officemate friends!

What started out as a dare now became a weekly happening in our building's third floor. It began with 5 people and now we're at 22! Talk about T.O.D.A.S. and you'll see nothing but smiles in the faces of these 22 people involved in this weekly addiction.

Tuesday's Outrageously Delightful Area Salu-Salo (TODAS) is our office's way of forgetting stress in the office. Every Tuesday lunch, a group of three to four people will bring their usual baons, but this time not just for themselves, but also for the other 18 individuals. With the name inspired by the original T.O.D.A.S. (Tuesday's Outrageously Delightful All-Star Show), this weekly salu-salo is also the haven for a myriad of jokes, stories, gossips and other mundane issues about life, love, politics, sports, and old bold stars!

Every employee deserves a break from their usual routine, especially during lunch. This weekly party just gives these 22 individuals another reason for regularly coming to office. :)

Don't say cheese, say TODAS!

Tired of your usual office lunch breaks? Why don't you try TODAS? :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Big Boys Don't Cry (?!)

Whoever said big boys don't cry is now taking it back after watching big man Karl Malone in his acceptance speech of the Basketball Hall of Fame 2010. Let's watch this:

Scottie Pippen also had his share of emotion after having received his Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame from his sparring partner, Michael Jordan.

It's truly touching to see these big guys get emotional. Most of the time, I saw these guys in a different emotion, in a furious stance during intense basketball games with their respective teams. It showed how they value and love the game of baskteball and an achievement such as being part of the Hall of Fame is simply larger than life for them.

Congratulations, Pip and Mailman. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

PNoy's 1st SONA

I just needed to post this to remind me of what to expect from President Noy's Regime. :)

Personally, it was straightforward, revealing, dramatic. To some, it was a shocking revelation of the ills of the previous administration. There were several promising policy directions that were instructed to his cabinet. But of course even if I supported this guy in his bid for the Presidency, I'll still have to be vigilant and objective of his actions in the next 6 years.

Mabuhay ang Mabuting Pilipino!

State of the Nation Address
of His Excellency
Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
[Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City]

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay; Chief Justice Renato Corona; Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; my fellow workers in government;

Mga minamahal kong kababayan:

Sa bawat sandali po ng pamamahala ay nahaharap tayo sa isang sangandaan.

Sa isang banda po ay ang pagpili para sa ikabubuti ng taumbayan. Ang pagtanaw sa interes ng nakakarami; ang pagkapit sa prinsipyo; at ang pagiging tapat sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin bilang lingkod-bayan. Ito po ang tuwid na daan.

Sa kabilang banda ay ang pag-una sa pansariling interes. Ang pagpapaalipin sa pulitikal na konsiderasyon, at pagsasakripisyo ng kapakanan ng taumbayan. Ito po ang baluktot na daan.

Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.

Sa unang tatlong linggo ng aming panunungkulan, marami po kaming natuklasan. Nais ko pong ipahayag sa inyo ang iilan lamang sa mga namana nating suliranin at ang ginagawa naming hakbang para lutasin ang mga ito.

Sulyap lamang po ito; hindi pa ito ang lahat ng problemang haharapin natin. Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Sa unang anim na buwan ng taon, mas malaki ang ginastos ng gobyerno kaysa sa pumasok na kita. Lalong lumaki ang deficit natin, na umakyat na sa 196.7 billion pesos. Sa target na kuleksyon, kinapos tayo ng 23.8 billion pesos; ang tinataya namang gastos, nalagpasan natin ng 45.1 billion pesos.

Ang budget po sa 2010 ay 1.54 trillion pesos.

Nasa isandaang bilyong piso o anim at kalahating porsyento na lang ng kabuuan ang malaya nating magagamit para sa nalalabing anim na buwan ng taong ito.

Halos isang porsyento na lang po ng kabuuang budget ang natitira para sa bawat buwan.

Saan naman po dinala ang pera?

Naglaan ng dalawang bilyong piso na Calamity Fund bilang paghahanda para sa mga kalamidad na hindi pa nangyayari. Napakaliit na nga po ng pondong ito, ngunit kapapasok pa lang natin sa panahon ng baha at bagyo, 1.4 billion pesos o sitenta porsyento na ang nagastos.

Sa kabuuan ng 108 million pesos para sa lalawigan ng Pampanga, 105 million pesos nito ay napunta sa iisang distrito lamang. Samantala, ang lalawigan ng Pangasinan na sinalanta ng Pepeng ay nakatanggap ng limang milyong piso lamang para sa pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong Cosme, na nangyari noong 2008 pa.

Ibinigay po ang pondo ng Pampanga sa buwan ng eleksyon, pitong buwan pagkatapos ng Ondoy at Pepeng. Paano kung bumagyo bukas? Inubos na ang pondo nito para sa bagyong nangyari noong isang taon pa. Pagbabayaran ng kinabukasan ang kasakiman ng nakaraan.

Ganyan din po ang nangyari sa pondo ng MWSS. Kamakailan lamang, pumipila ang mga tao para lang makakuha ng tubig. Sa kabila nito, minabuti pa ng liderato ng MWSS na magbigay ng gantimpala sa sarili kahit hindi pa nababayaran ang pensyon ng mga retiradong empleyado.

Noong 2009, ang buong payroll ng MWSS ay 51.4 million pesos. Pero hindi lang naman po ito ang sahod nila; may mga additional allowances at benefits pa sila na aabot sa 160.1 million pesos. Sa madaling sabi, nakatanggap sila ng 211.5 million pesos noong nakaraang taon. Beinte-kuwatro porsyento lang nito ang normal na sahod, at sitenta’y sais porsyento ang dagdag.

Ang karaniwang manggagawa hanggang 13th month pay plus cash gift lang ang nakukuha. Sa MWSS, aabot sa katumbas ng mahigit sa tatlumpung buwan ang sahod kasama na ang lahat ng mga bonuses at allowances na nakuha nila.

Mas matindi po ang natuklasan natin sa pasahod ng kanilang Board of Trustees. Tingnan po natin ang mga allowances na tinatanggap nila:

Umupo ka lang sa Board of Trustees at Board Committee meeting, katorse mil na. Aabot ng nobenta’y otso mil ito kada buwan. May grocery incentive pa sila na otsenta mil kada taon.

Hindi lang iyon: may mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, at Financial Assistance. May Christmas bonus na, may Additional Christmas Package pa. Kada isa sa mga ito, nobenta’y otso mil.

Sa suma total po, aabot ang lahat ng dalawa’t kalahating milyong piso kada taon sa bawat miyembro ng Board maliban sa pakotse, technical assistance, at pautang. Uulitin ko po. Lahat ng ito ay ibinibigay nila sa kanilang mga sarili habang hindi pa nababayaran ang mga pensyon ng kanilang mga retirees.

Pati po ang La Mesa Watershed ay hindi nila pinatawad. Para magkaroon ng tamang supply ng tubig, kailangang alagaan ang mga watershed. Sa watershed, puno ang kailangan. Pati po iyon na dapat puno ang nakatayo, tinayuan nila ng bahay para sa matataas na opisyal ng MWSS.

Hindi naman sila agad maaalis sa puwesto dahil kabilang sila sa mga Midnight Appointees ni dating Pangulong Arroyo. Iniimbestigahan na natin ang lahat nang ito. Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira – sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto.

Pag-usapan naman po natin ang pondo para sa imprastruktura. Tumukoy ang DPWH ng dalawandaan apatnapu’t anim na priority safety projects na popondohan ng Motor Vehicle Users Charge. Mangangailangan po ito ng budget na 425 million pesos.

Ang pinondohan po, dalawampu’t walong proyekto lang. Kinalimutan po ang dalawandaan at labing walong proyekto at pinalitan ng pitumpung proyekto na wala naman sa plano. Ang hininging 425 million pesos, naging 480 million pesos pa, lumaki lalo dahil sa mga proyektong sa piling-piling mga benepisyaryo lang napunta.

Mga proyekto po itong walang saysay, hindi pinag-aralan at hindi pinaghandaan, kaya parang kabuteng sumusulpot.

Tapos na po ang panahon para dito. Sa administrasyon po natin, walang kota-kota, walang tongpats, ang pera ng taumbayan ay gagastusin para sa taumbayan lamang.

Meron pa po tayong natuklasan. Limang araw bago matapos ang termino ng nakaraang administrasyon, nagpautos silang maglabas ng 3.5 billion pesos para sa rehabilitasyon ng mga nasalanta nina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Walumpu’t anim na proyekto ang paglalaanan dapat nito na hindi na sana idadaan sa public bidding. Labingsiyam sa mga ito na nagkakahalaga ng 981 million pesos ang muntik nang makalusot. Hindi pa nailalabas ang Special Allotment Release Order ay pirmado na ang mga kontrata.

Buti na lang po ay natuklasan at pinigilan ito ni Secretary Rogelio Singson ng DPWH. Ngayon po ay dadaan na ang kabuuan ng 3.5 billion pesos sa tapat na bidding, at magagamit na ang pondo na ito sa pagbibigay ng lingap sa mga nawalan ng tahanan dahil kina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Pag-usapan naman natin ang nangyari sa NAPOCOR. Noong 2001 hanggang 2004, pinilit ng gobyerno ang NAPOCOR na magbenta ng kuryente nang palugi para hindi tumaas ang presyo. Tila ang dahilan: pinaghahandaan na nila ang eleksyon.

Dahil dito, noong 2004, sumagad ang pagkakabaon sa utang ng NAPOCOR. Napilitan ang pambansang gobyerno na sagutin ang dalawandaang bilyong pisong utang nito.

Ang inakala ng taumbayan na natipid nila sa kuryente ay binabayaran din natin mula sa kaban ng bayan. May gastos na tayo sa kuryente, binabayaran pa natin ang dagdag na pagkakautang ng gobyerno.

Kung naging matino ang pag-utang, sana’y nadagdagan ang ating kasiguruhan sa supply ng kuryente. Pero ang desisyon ay ibinatay sa maling pulitika, at hindi sa pangangailangan ng taumbayan. Ang taumbayan, matapos pinagsakripisyo ay lalo pang pinahirapan.

Ganito rin po ang nangyari sa MRT. Sinubukan na namang bilhin ang ating pagmamahal. Pinilit ang operator na panatilihing mababa ang pamasahe.

Hindi tuloy nagampanan ang garantiyang ibinigay sa operator na mababawi nila ang kanilang puhunan. Dahil dito, inutusan ang Landbank at Development Bank of the Philippines na bilhin ang MRT.

Ang pera ng taumbayan, ipinagpalit sa isang naluluging operasyon.

Dumako naman po tayo sa pondo ng NFA.

Noong 2004: 117,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply ng Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 900,000 metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit pitong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra pa rin ang binili nila.

Noong 2007: 589,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply sa Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 1.827 million metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit tatlong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra na naman ang binili nila.

Ang masakit nito, dahil sobra-sobra ang binibili nila taun-taon, nabubulok lang pala sa mga kamalig ang bigas, kagaya ng nangyari noong 2008.

Hindi po ba krimen ito, na hinahayaan nilang mabulok ang bigas, sa kabila ng apat na milyong Pilipinong hindi kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?

Ang resulta nito, umabot na sa 171.6 billion pesos ang utang ng NFA noong Mayo ng taong ito.

Ang tinapon na ito, halos puwede na sanang pondohan ang mga sumusunod:

Ang budget ng buong Hudikatura, na 12.7 billion pesos sa taong ito.

Ang Conditional Cash Transfers para sa susunod na taon, na nagkakahalaga ng 29.6 billion pesos.

Ang lahat ng classroom na kailangan ng ating bansa, na nagkakahalaga ng 130 billion pesos.

Kasuklam-suklam ang kalakarang ito. Pera na, naging bato pa.

Narinig po ninyo kung paano nilustay ang kaban ng bayan. Ang malinaw po sa ngayon: ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.

Kaya nga po mula ngayon: ititigil na natin ang paglulustay sa salapi ng bayan. Tatanggalin natin ang mga proyektong mali.

Ito po ang punto ng tinatawag nating zero-based approach sa ating budget. Ang naging kalakaran po, taun-taon ay inuulit lamang ang budget na puno ng tagas. Dadagdagan lang nang konti, puwede na.

Sa susunod na buwan ay maghahain tayo ng budget na kumikilala nang tama sa mga problema, at magtutuon din ng pansin sa tamang solusyon.

Ilan lang ito sa mga natuklasan nating problema. Heto naman po ang ilang halimbawa ng mga hakbang na ginagawa natin.

Nandiyan po ang kaso ng isang may-ari ng sanglaan. Bumili siya ng sasakyang tinatayang nasa dalawampu’t anim na milyong piso ang halaga.

Kung kaya mong bumili ng Lamborghini, bakit hindi mo kayang magbayad ng buwis?

Nasampahan na po ito ng kaso. Sa pangunguna nina Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares at Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, bawat linggo po ay may bago tayong kasong isinasampa kontra sa mga smuggler at sa mga hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Natukoy na rin po ang salarin sa mga kaso nina Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio at Miguel Belen, tatlo sa anim na insidente ng extralegal killings mula nang umupo tayo.

Singkuwenta porsyento po ng mga insidente ng extralegal killings ang patungo na sa kanilang resolusyon.

Ang natitira pong kalahati ay hindi natin tatantanan ang pag-usig hanggang makamit ang katarungan.

Pananagutin natin ang mga mamamatay-tao. Pananagutin din natin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno.

Nagsimula nang mabuo ang ating Truth Commission, sa pangunguna ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Hahanapin natin ang katotohanan sa mga nangyari diumanong katiwalian noong nakaraang siyam na taon.

Sa loob ng linggong ito, pipirmahan ko ang kauna-unahang Executive Order na nagtatalaga sa pagbuo nitong Truth Commission.

Kung ang sagot sa kawalan ng katarungan ay pananagutan, ang sagot naman sa kakulangan natin sa pondo ay mga makabago at malikhaing paraan para tugunan ang mga pagkatagal-tagal nang problema.

Napakarami po ng ating pangangailangan: mula sa edukasyon, imprastruktura, pangkalusugan, pangangailangan ng militar at kapulisan, at marami pang iba. Hindi kakasya ang pondo para mapunan ang lahat ng ito.

Kahit gaano po kalaki ang kakulangan para mapunan ang mga listahan ng ating pangangailangan, ganado pa rin ako dahil marami nang nagpakita ng panibagong interes at kumpyansa sa Pilipinas.

Ito ang magiging solusyon: mga Public-Private Partnerships. Kahit wala pa pong pirmahang nangyayari dito, masasabi kong maganda ang magiging bunga ng maraming usapin ukol dito.

May mga nagpakita na po ng interes, gustong magtayo ng expressway na mula Maynila, tatahak ng Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, hanggang sa dulo ng Cagayan Valley nang hindi gugugol ang estado kahit na po piso.

Sa larangan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas:

Mayroon po tayong 36,000 nautical miles ng baybayin. Ang mayroon lamang tayo: tatlumpu’t dalawang barko. Itong mga barkong ito, panahon pa ni MacArthur.

May nagmungkahi sa atin, ito ang proposisyon: uupahan po nila ang headquarters ng Navy sa Roxas Boulevard at ang Naval Station sa Fort Bonifacio.

Sagot po nila ang paglipat ng Navy Headquarters sa Camp Aguinaldo. Agaran, bibigyan tayo ng isandaang milyong dolyar. At dagdag pa sa lahat nang iyan, magsusubi pa sila sa atin ng kita mula sa mga negosyong itatayo nila sa uupahan nilang lupa.

Sa madali pong sabi: Makukuha natin ang kailangan natin, hindi tatayo gagastos, kikita pa tayo.

Marami na pong nag-alok at nagmungkahi sa atin, mula lokal hanggang dayuhang negosyante, na magpuno ng iba’t ibang pangangailangan.

Mula sa mga public-private partnerships na ito, lalago ang ating ekonomiya, at bawat Pilipino makikinabang. Napakaraming sektor na matutulungan nito.

Maipapatayo na po ang imprastrukturang kailangan natin para palaguin ang turismo.

Sa agrikultura, makapagtatayo na tayo ng mga grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, maayos na road networks at post-harvest facilities.

Kung maisasaayos natin ang ating food supply chain sa tulong ng pribadong sektor, sa halip na mag-angkat tayo ay maari na sana tayong mangarap na mag-supply sa pandaigdigang merkado.

Kung maitatayo ang minumungkahi sa ating railway system, bababa ang presyo ng bilihin. Mas mura, mas mabilis, mas maginhawa, at makakaiwas pa sa kotong cops at mga kumokotong na rebelde ang mga bumibiyahe.

Paalala lang po: una sa ating plataporma ang paglikha ng mga trabaho, at nanggagaling ang trabaho sa paglago ng industriya. Lalago lamang ang industriya kung gagawin nating mas malinis, mas mabilis, at mas maginhawa ang proseso para sa mga gustong magnegosyo.

Pabibilisin natin ang proseso ng mga proyektong sumasailalim sa Build-Operate-Transfer. Sa tulong ng lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno at ng mga mamamayan, pabababain natin sa anim na buwan ang proseso na noon ay inaabot ng taon kung hindi dekada.

May mga hakbang na rin pong sinisimulan ang DTI, sa pamumuno ni Secretary Gregory Domingo:

Ang walang-katapusang pabalik-balik sa proseso ng pagrehistro ng pangalan ng kumpanya, na kada dalaw ay umaabot ng apat hanggang walong oras, ibababa na natin sa labinlimang minuto.

Ang dating listahan ng tatlumpu’t anim na dokumento, ibababa natin sa anim. Ang dating walong pahinang application form, ibababa natin sa isang pahina.

Nananawagan ako sa ating mga LGUs. Habang naghahanap tayo ng paraan para gawing mas mabilis ang pagbubukas ng mga negosyo, pag-aralan din sana nila ang kanilang mga proseso. Kailangan itong gawing mas mabilis, at kailangan itong itugma sa mga sinisumulan nating reporma.

Negosyante, sundalo, rebelde, at karaniwang Pilipino, lahat po makikinabang dito. Basta po hindi dehado ang Pilipino, papasukin po natin lahat iyan. Kailangan na po nating simulan ang pagtutulungan para makamit ito. Huwag nating pahirapan ang isa’t isa.

Parating na po ang panahon na hindi na natin kailangang mamili sa pagitan ng seguridad ng ating mamamayan o sa kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak.

Oras na maipatupad ang public-private partnerships na ito, mapopondohan ang mga serbisyong panlipunan, alinsunod sa ating plataporma.

Magkakapondo na po para maipatupad ang mga plano natin sa edukasyon.

Mapapalawak natin ang basic education cycle mula sa napakaikling sampung taon tungo sa global standard na labindalawang taon.

Madadagdagan natin ang mga classroom. Mapopondohan natin ang service contracting sa ilalim ng GASTPE.

Pati ang conditional cash transfers, na magbabawas ng pabigat sa bulsa ng mga pamilya, madadagdan na rin ng pondo.

Maipapatupad ang plano natin sa PhilHealth.

Una, tutukuyin natin ang tunay na bilang ng mga nangangailangan nito. Sa ngayon, hindi magkakatugma ang datos. Sabi ng PhilHealth sa isang bibig, walumpu’t pitong porsyento na raw ang merong coverage. Sa kabilang bibig naman, singkuwenta’y tres porsyento naman. Ayon naman sa National Statistics Office, tatlumpu’t walong porsyento ang may coverage.

Ngayon pa lang, kumikilos na si Secretary Dinky Soliman at ang DSWD upang ipatupad ang National Household Targetting System, na magtutukoy sa mga pamilyang higit na nagangailangan ng tulong. Tinatayang siyam na bilyon ang kailangan para mabigyan ng PhilHealth ang limang milyong pinakamaralitang pamilyang Pilipino.

Napakaganda po ng hinaharap natin. Kasama na po natin ang pribadong sektor, at kasama na rin natin ang League of Provinces, sa pangunguna nina Governor Alfonso Umali kasama sina Governor L-Ray Villafuerte at Governor Icot Petilla. Handa na pong makipagtulungan para makibahagi sa pagtustos ng mga gastusin. Alam ko rin pong hindi magpapahuli ang League of Cities sa pangunguna ni Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

Kung ang mga gobyernong lokal ay nakikiramay na sa ating mga adhikain, ang Kongreso namang pinanggalingan ko, siguro naman maasahan ko din.

Nagpakitang-gilas na po ang gabinete sa pagtukoy ng ating mga problema at sa paglulunsad ng mga solusyon sa loob lamang ng tatlong linggo.

Nang bagyo pong Basyang, ang sabi sa atin ng mga may prangkisa sa kuryente, apat na araw na walang kuryente. Dahil sa mabilis na pagkilos ni Secretary Rene Almendras at ng Department of Energy, naibalik ang kuryente sa halos lahat sa loob lamang ng beinte-kwatro oras.

Ito pong sinasabing kakulangan sa tubig sa Metro Manila, kinilusan agad ni Secretary Rogelio Singson at ng DPWH. Hindi na siya naghintay ng utos, kaya nabawasan ang perwisyo.

Nakita na rin natin ang gilas ng mga hinirang nating makatulong sa Gabinete. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong umasa na hindi na sila padadaanin sa butas ng karayom para makumpirma ng Commission on Appointments. Kung mangyayari po ito, marami pa sa mga mahuhusay na Pilipino ang maeengganyong magsilbi sa gobyerno.

Sa lalong madaling panahon po, uupo na tayo sa LEDAC at pag-uusapan ang mga mahahalagang batas na kailangan nating ipasa. Makakaasa kayo na mananatiling bukas ang aking isipan, at ang ating ugnayan ay mananatiling tapat.

Isinusulong po natin ang Fiscal Responsibility Bill, kung saan hindi tayo magpapasa ng batas na mangangailangan ng pondo kung hindi pa natukoy ang panggagalingan nito. May 104.1 billion pesos tayong kailangan para pondohan ang mga batas na naipasa na, ngunit hindi maipatupad.

Kailangan din nating isaayos ang mga insentibong piskal na ibinigay noong nakaraan. Ngayong naghihigpit tayo ng sinturon, kailangang balikan kung alin sa mga ito ang dapat manatili at kung ano ang dapat nang itigil.

Huwag po tayong pumayag na magkaroon ng isa pang NBN-ZTE. Sa lokal man o dayuhan manggagaling ang pondo, dapat dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Hinihingi ko po ang tulong ninyo upang amiyendahan ang ating Procurement Law.

Ayon po sa Saligang Batas, tungkulin ng estado ang siguruhing walang lamangan sa merkado. Bawal ang monopolya, bawal ang mga cartel na sasakal sa kumpetisyon. Kailangan po natin ng isang Anti-Trust Law na magbibigay-buhay sa mga prinsipyong ito. Ito ang magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga Small- at Medium-scale Enterprises na makilahok at tumulong sa paglago ng ating ekonomiya.

Ipasa na po natin ang National Land Use Bill.

Una rin pong naging batas ng Commonwealth ang National Defense Act, na ipinasa noon pang 1935. Kailangan nang palitan ito ng batas na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng pambansang seguridad sa kasalukuyan.

Nakikiusap po akong isulong ang Whistleblower’s Bill upang patuloy nang iwaksi ang kultura ng takot at pananahimik.

Palalakasin pa lalo ang Witness Protection Program. Alalahanin po natin na noong taong 2009 hanggang 2010, may nahatulan sa 95% ng mga kaso kung saan may witness na sumailalim sa programang ito.

Kailangang repasuhin ang ating mga batas. Nanawagan po akong umpisahan na ang rekodipikasyon ng ating mga batas, upang siguruhing magkakatugma sila at hindi salu-salungat.

Ito pong mga batas na ito ang batayan ng kaayusan, ngunit ang pundasyon ng lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ang prinsipyong wala tayong mararating kung walang kapayapaan at katahimikan.

Dalawa ang hinaharap nating suliranin sa usapin ng kapayapaan: ang situwasyon sa Mindanao, at ang patuloy na pag-aaklas ng CPP-NPA-NDF.

Tungkol sa situwasyon sa Mindanao: Hindi po nagbabago ang ating pananaw. Mararating lamang ang kapayapaan at katahimikan kung mag-uusap ang lahat ng apektado: Moro, Lumad, at Kristiyano. Inatasan na natin si Dean Marvic Leonen na mangasiwa sa ginagawa nating pakikipag-usap sa MILF.

Iiwasan natin ang mga pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang administrasyon, kung saan binulaga na lang ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao. Hindi tayo puwedeng magbulag-bulagan sa mga dudang may kulay ng pulitika ang proseso, at hindi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang tanging interes.

Kinikilala natin ang mga hakbang na ginagawa ng MILF sa pamamagitan ng pagdidisplina sa kanilang hanay. Inaasahan natin na muling magsisimula ang negosasyon pagkatapos ng Ramadan.

Tungkol naman po sa CPP-NPA-NDF: handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang?

Kung kapayapaan din ang hangad ninyo, handa po kami sa malawakang tigil-putukan. Mag-usap tayo.

Mahirap magsimula ang usapan habang mayroon pang amoy ng pulbura sa hangin. Nananawagan ako: huwag po natin hayaang masayang ang napakagandang pagkakataong ito upang magtipon sa ilalim ng iisang adhikain.

Kapayapaan at katahimikan po ang pundasyon ng kaunlaran. Habang nagpapatuloy ang barilan, patuloy din ang pagkakagapos natin sa kahirapan.

Dapat din po nating mabatid: ito ay panahon ng sakripisyo. At ang sakripisyong ito ay magiging puhunan para sa ating kinabukasan. Kaakibat ng ating mga karapatan at kalayaan ay ang tungkulin natin sa kapwa at sa bayan.

Inaasahan ko po ang ating mga kaibigan sa media, lalo na sa radyo at sa print, sa mga nagbablock-time, at sa community newspapers, kayo na po mismo ang magbantay sa inyong hanay.

Mabigyang-buhay sana ang mga batayang prinsipyo ng inyong bokasyon: ang magbigay-linaw sa mahahalagang isyu; ang maging patas at makatotohanan, at ang itaas ang antas ng pampublikong diskurso.

Tungkulin po ng bawat Pilipino na tutukan ang mga pinunong tayo rin naman ang nagluklok sa puwesto. Humakbang mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Dahil ang nakikialam, walang-hanggan ang reklamo. Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon.

Napakatagal na pong namamayani ang pananaw na ang susi sa asenso ay ang intindihin ang sarili kaysa intindihin ang kapwa. Malinaw po sa akin: paano tayo aasenso habang nilalamangan ang kapwa?

Ang hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataong mag-aral, paanong makakakuha ng trabaho? Kung walang trabaho, paanong magiging konsumer? Paanong mag-iimpok sa bangko?

Ngunit kung babaliktarin natin ang pananaw—kung iisipin nating “Dadagdagan ko ang kakayahan ng aking kapwa”—magbubunga po ito, at ang lahat ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon.

Maganda na po ang nasimulan natin. At mas lalong maganda po ang mararating natin. Ngunit huwag nating kalimutan na mayroong mga nagnanasang hindi tayo magtagumpay. Dahil kapag hindi tayo nagtagumpay, makakabalik na naman sila sa kapangyarihan, at sa pagsasamantala sa taumbayan.

Akin pong paniwala na Diyos at taumbayan ang nagdala sa ating kinalalagyan ngayon. Habang nakatutok tayo sa kapakanan ng ating kapwa, bendisyon at patnubay ay tiyak na maaasahan natin sa Poong Maykapal. At kapag nanalig tayo na ang kasangga natin ay ang Diyos, mayroon ba tayong hindi kakayanin?

Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap.

Maraming salamat po.

Source: www.gov.ph