Search and You Shall Find in My World

29 February 2008

Travel Time: Revisiting Bohol’s Famous

My friend Judy from the Department of Tourism asked me to join her cousins from Pampanga on a tour around Bohol’s famous landmarks.

It was a good opportunity for me to see what is now happening in the tourism industry of Bohol from the time I left the island. Well- I’m a returnee actually. I come and go in and out of Bohol but never had a tour for so long.

We avail of the van provided by Lugod Transport Services (telephones 038-4112244; 4112682; 5018907; 09209273025), a DOT-accredited transport service. The son of the owner Jaypee, a very polite gentleman (09173040135) became our driver for the day.

Chocolate Hills

The hills were alive not from the sound of music but from the lucrative businesses now found everywhere in the Chocolate Hills! Have your pictures taken with you riding in a broom in just three minutes. Buko bar sir? Mani popcorn Mam. Picture. Picture. Asa ka sir, habal-habal ta?

From the P10 entrance fee it has escalated to more than 100% , to a tune of P25! And still the facilities were way behind international standards. Yes the sagging (yes, sagging!) restaurant is undergoing renovation. Yet the public CR at the foot of the viewing deck still exuded stench you would not like to pollute the air. Newer buildings constrict the panoramic view of the hills.

The souvenir stalls were not a pretty sight either.

The parking space was running out of space especially during our visit. About six busloads of foreigners and students arrived at the same time. I could hardly breathe. I was not even counting the taxis, vans and motorcycles parked anywhere and everywhere. Maybe the management (is it the provincial government or municipal government running the hills now?) have to make a big parking lot at the foot of the hill, near the entrance area, and let the visitors walk uphill. It would be exciting, I believe. People would be engrossed with the scenery. It is healthy, too, the walk with less vehicles at the viewing deck.

Still the Chocolate Hills never lost its aura of mystery and awe.

Simply Butterflies Conservation Center in Bilar

It was my first time to be at the butterfly conservation center. The simplicity of the place is what attracted me most. Simple and clean. Perfect. That is the visible difference when a “public” structure is run by foreigners as compared to structures managed (or owned) by Filipinos. I just don’t know why foreigner-run buildings would last longer and are well-maintained.

Aside from the standard tour around the place, the butterfly center boasted of its delicious fares in their restaurant, all natural, they told me. But what I liked most was their ICE CREAM! When I tasted the guyabano ice cream I screamed for more! In fact, I tasted all flavors available. Therewas even a durian ice cream!

The banana cake was also filling and so were the coconut nut cookies. All of their products were not “flavored,” actually, you can taste the real thing in them. The only thing I did not like much was the toffee candy. The restaurant also offered lunch and dinner.

I will surely recommend the place. For your bookings or orders for butterflies or their delicious food call the Butterfly Conservation Center at telephone number (038) 5359400.

Loboc River Cruise

After an exhilarating experience at the man made forest, off we went to Loboc for a river cruise and lunch in one of the floating restaurants.

We were accommodated at Tessie Labunog’s Loboc Riverwatch Resto (telephone 038-5379460) because we were long time friends. Eat-all-you-can lunch is not costly at P280 per person. The P30 was supposed to be the municipal tax and you would not speak evil about it because you can see where your money goes.

Now this is what an enterprising municipality should be. From the time the innovative Lobocanons started their floating restos, their services, their hospitality and the facilities have improved a lot to this time. Their tourist center including the souvenir shops were of class and should be replicated by the management of the Chocolate Hills. Even the stops during the cruise were an excellent idea! Local communities participated in the tourism growth. It was so nice to see the Japanese tourists mingling with the locals, dancing and trying the ukeleles with much gusto. We were even having a great time just watching them.

The only mishap during the cruise was the fainting of a Korean (or Taiwanese?) woman due to the humidity. Our boat has to go back to the station for medical aid. Maybe the staff of the floating restos must undergo training on emergency situations like this. The woman was lifted without dignity despite the situation.

*More to come...

26 February 2008

Will These Technology Make Me Desire for Nokia?

According to, this Nokia technology will be produced within seven years. I hope Nokia will be able to convince me to use their phones by this time.

Photo from


Goodbye Mam Stella Relova

Our teacher from the Holy Name University, Mrs. Stella Rochelyn Masamayor-Relova passed away last February 17, 2008 due to cancer. She was 59.

Her favorite prayer:

"I asked God to take away my pain: God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me. I asked God to give me happiness, He said, Happiniess is up to you. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things. I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me. God said, Ahhh finally you got it!"

Goodbye Ma'am Stella.


24 February 2008

(Another) Wake Up Call for Tagbilaran City

And while attending the general assembly of a cooperative, I hear people talking about the recent happenings in Tagbilaran City. From what I heard, I believe people are not going to vote for Mayor Dan Lim again. Again?

Recent case

There was a fire that gutted a house somewhere near the Governor’s Mansion. A former officemate was actually panicking because their house was just meters away and the fire department has not arrived at the scene yet. They have to force their neighbors to use their motorcycles so they can rouse the firemen. She was even furious because the fire truck that arrived has no water in its tank.

The truth behind the kapalpakan (allegedly)

The fire-trucks at the Tagbilaran City Bureau of Fire Protection do not have fuel allocation anymore. The trucks, by the way, were serviced to deliver water to the Tagbilaran City Wharf and at Cogon Public Market because these public facilities were no longer enjoying water availability due to nonpayment to the service provider. It was not clear though, but cutting off the water service only means one thing- they are not paying. What a pity.

The fire department has to face another “mayor” to ask for gasoline and some verbal abuse.

Rampant criminalities

If you visit the city and go out in the night, you may notice that the streets are empty. Almost. Because people fear they might become another victim of unsolved cases in the city. Killings. Snatchings. Mauling. Even tricycle drivers are very careful of who to take for a ride.

I no longer see police cars patrolling around the city, in fact. Two years ago when I stayed in Tagbilaran, every night the police can be seen. Maybe they have no gasoline budget too?

Too much politics

The city mayor is at war with his city councilors and other personalities. So instead of making development projects that benefits the people, they wash their dirty linens over the radio, in the newspapers and in public.

The roads in Tagbilaran are the obvious manifestation that the politicians are neglecting their duties. For tourists who are transported only in the major road, that is the CPG Avenue, they see a wide and paved road of Tagbilaran. But that is a national road by the way and part of the circumferential project. The real Tagbilaranons knew and experienced the bumpy ride every day.

Where is ACT

There was (I believe it is now dead) ACT, the Association of Concerned Tagbilaranons, who used to “criticize” politicians who did not do well in their services. In fact, they used to branch out to include issues on environment. But when Dan Lim became mayor of Tagbilaran, they have lost its voice. What happened? Was it formed just for Rene Relampagos’ gubernatorial term?

What now

I am actually an outsider, being a non-Tagbilaranon. But I have been living in the city for 27 years now but have not actually been officially called a resident. I still do my civil duties in my hometown.

So all I can ask- WHAT NOW?

No matter how dirty the place and how dirty is the broom you are going to use, you still need to clean up the place to experience cleanliness even just for a while.

Photo by sharadhaksar


The Best Things In Life Are Still Free

I was asked by Ynday to attend a meeting in her behalf for their cooperative’s general assembly. With nothing to do and with an incentive for attending, I readily accepted it. Even if the meeting started early, I actually took pleasure in attending the meeting because I knew I would be seeing familiar faces once again. Liza, the provincial agriculturist was there trying to convince somebody to give her the other’s chair so she can seat beside me. Tata, the project coordinator of UNFPA was across my seat, busy chatting with everyone. These two are my friends.

After the meeting (and a hearty lunch), Tata and Liza dragged me along to a massage session at Grand Royal Spa at the back of the Gallares Memorial Hospital. I was actually laughing along the way because massage was the last option they had. It was foot scrub first, then hair spa, then foot massage. When we arrived at the Grand Royal, they wanted a body scrub after all. Oh, women. While they were arguing, I already had body massage in my mind.

My masseur did it well and I fell into a slumber with the music of three of the most beautiful musicals I’ve heard- Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd. I had one of the most relaxing massages ever.

The therapeutic session was actually free. Tata and Liza said they would pay for me, sort of a gift because I had my birthday two weeks ago. Had I known, I would also take the body scrub session. But that’s abuse, of course.

A hot cappuccino capped our day. Tata dropped me home. I was feeling sleepy and relaxed. Feeling grateful and somewhat inspired, I opened my computer and started poking on the keys.

And so I wrote this blog.


22 February 2008

A Rainy Night With Direk Maryo

Charlotte called me up to inform me that Gerry is inviting us tonight at Direk Maryo J. delos Reyes’ apartment for a night of chikahan. I have been at Direk Maryo’s many times but only when he was not there. I have never met him at his place.

Despite the heavy rain, we were able to go. Lailette, the struggling Boholano artista was already there bulging from the dinner they had. In fact, she was not yet ready to let go of the table when we came and until we said our goodbyes.

Direk Maryo was having a meeting with one of my teachers in college. They were supposed to be discussing about a script.

Gerry was nowhere to be found. The cute guy that opened the door said Gerry went home because his daughter called up.

So we settled in. Introductions. Beso-beso. The usual stuff.

When Direk came out of the room, the drinks started to come out too. They told us it was the signal that Direk wanted a relaxing company. Everything came out good and it was the best time to relax. Ours the Red Horse, Direk his red wine. Gerry came in and with familiar faces following him.

I eventually enjoyed the company. We talked about artistas (Gretchen is a real bitch!) and some struggling ones from Bohol. They called them up saying their Hi’s and Hello’s. I find myself alienated because I didn’t know those of the personalities. I have lots of things to catch up.

Charlotte and I said our goodbyes when the seemingly never-ending Red Horse finally stopped flowing. We made beso-beso again with Direk who invited us again when he comes to town. The cute guy suddenly held my hand and asked me if he could see me again. I smiled and asked why. He wanted to have a CD copy of my RnB songs.

Can I see you tomorrow night? Sure!

My imagination started painting the town red.


Not All Ladies Have One


Finally, scientific proof of the G-spot's existence...

With one crucial caveat: Not all women seem to have one. (Gentlemen, you have your excuse.) Researchers at Italy's University of L'Aquila—nice work if you can get it—made the discovery, which was first reported in New Scientist magazine. The next step for ladies: getting tested to find out whether they have the pleasure center. If you have to ask...


Now I know why she just lie there...


21 February 2008

Damn Globe!

2870 21 Feb 08 9:42 am

From Globe: BOSE SoundDock ang premyo NOW! May pts ka sa Unlitxt mo last 02/19. Mas gusto mo ng PERA? Txt PERA to 2346 free! DTI0454 NoFreeInfo? Txt PTS STOP to 2346
From Me: PTS STOP to 2346

From 2346 (Globe): You do not have any subscriptions in 2346. This text is FREE. Thank you. GET FREE TONES! AA-I DON"T WANT U TO GO/Kyla BB-PapayaSong CC-All I Need DD-KungFu blah blah blah...

One time I also received a text message from Globe informing me that I have already accumulated lots of points because I loaded a greasy amount. When I text them, you know what I got from their reply? YOU DO NOT HAVE POINTS TO QUALIFY FOR THE PROMO!

Ano ba talaga Globe?



20 February 2008

Dubai Does It Again!

Set to go this March, Dubai once again boasts itself of another wonderful construction, as if constructing magnificent towers and hotels were not enough.

If this would be constructed here in the Philippines, planning itself would be a big mess. Politicians, husbands (or wives, just in case there are) of politicians, and other personalities will be asking a big pay-off.

As if the Burg Dubai tower wasn't already taking the worldwide skyscraper race to new heights, this as-yet-unnamed span will be the world's largest arch bridge, with 2000 vehicles set to cross its 12 lanes—per hour, in each direction—when it's slated for completion in 2012. At 670 ft. tall, Dubai's next super structure will stand higher than the George Washington Bridge (604 ft.) but fall short of San Francisco's existing Golden Gate Bridge (746 ft.). (Matt Sullivan, Popular Mechanics)

My Mom

A True Mother's Love
Patarica D. Nunn

A mother's love is consistent and patient, it will never fade.
A mother's love is warm and compassionate, even in the shade.
A mother's love will always help you through the weakest hours.
A mother's love is always like a bouquet of flowers.
A mother's love is strong and will never steer you wrong.
A true mother's love is beautiful in many ways.
A true mother's love is sincere and it takes a mother's love to conquer our fears.
A true mother's love knows the depth of love.
A true mother's love is contentment, just like God's love.
My mother's love is absolutely all of the above.



Rain, rain, fall today,
Wash away my debts to pay,
Cleanse me of my sins I pray,
Rain, rain, fall away.

Rain, rain, fall away,
Wash away the blood today,
Wake us from this dream I say,
Rain, rain, here to stay.

Rain, rain, here to stay,
Keep the sin of hate at bay,
Love is coming here to stay,
Rain, rain, fall today.

Shiloh Thompson

Philippine Daily Inquirer Editorial, 20 February 2008

A History of Scandal

Sometime in January 1949, Senate President Jose Avelino asked rhetorically, “What are we in power for?” Avelino was speaking at a party caucus in Malacañang and expressing his resentment over the investigation of some officials’ moneymaking activities. Unaware that two journalists were on the sidelines, he was lecturing President Elpidio Quirino on the realities of Philippine politics.

Avelino continued: “Why should we pretend to be saints when in reality we are not? We are not angels. When we die we will all go to hell. It is better to be in hell because in that place there are no investigations, no secretary of justice, no secretary of the interior to go after us.

“When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He made a distinction between the good crook and the bad crook. We can aspire to be good crooks.”

Replying, President Quirino said, “I am no saint … but when public opinion demands an investigation, we have to go through the formality of ordering one.”

Avelino was investigated by the Senate, found guilty of tax evasion and suspended for one year.

In the light of the irregularities that high officials and the relatives of some officials of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are alleged to have committed, some of them may have asked, or probably thought, “What are we in power for?”

Also in the light of the current exposés of venalities, we are reminded of another classic phrase, “Millionaires don’t steal.” Sen. Pacita Madrigal-Warns (later Gonzalez) said this when her name was mentioned in connection with what appeared to be a scam when she was secretary of social welfare during the administration of President Ramon Magsaysay.

In fact, millionaires and billionaires in government do steal, and they steal astronomical amounts, and with infuriating regularity. And yet they all go scot-free, and instead of being prosecuted and punished, they are idolized by Philippine society.

Magsaysay used to ask when he was about to make a decision on a government transaction or project, “Can we defend this in Plaza Miranda?” What he meant was, “Is this transaction or project aboveboard? Is this clean and graft-free? “

But can the same question be asked about the multimillion-peso and multibillion-peso deals of this administration?

The term of President Diosdado Macapagal, father of incumbent President Arroyo, was marked by some graft-ridden transactions, but he was not directly linked to them. Still, the opposition, led by its standard-bearer, Senate President Ferdinand Marcos, used the catchphrase, “Alis d’yan!” [“Get out of there!”] to lethal effect. Now, civil society is uttering various phrases that echo the “Alis d’yan!” of the 1964 presidential election campaign.

Marcos showed promise of becoming a good president. But more than a year before his second term was about to end, he imposed martial law. There was not much opposition to martial law, and the joke then was that the Philippines was composed of 45 million cowards and one SOB.

Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr., Marcos’ arch-enemy, whom Marcos granted a medical furlough in the United States, returned to Manila on Aug. 21, 1983, but before he could set foot on Philippine soil, he was assassinated. That signaled the beginning of the end of the Marcos dictatorship. His widow Corazon ran in the snap presidential election, and her battle cry was “Tama na, sobra na, palitan na!” [“Enough, too much, change now!”]

Change did come through People Power during the EDSA Revolution, but what it accomplished was just a change of the dramatis personae and not of the flawed political system. After some cosmetic changes and the utterance of the usual political platitudes, it was back to the same old ways of traditional politics.

“Alis d’yan!” “Tama na, sobra na, palitan na!” Virtually the same phrases were used by civil society and other groups at EDSA II, which drove President Joseph Estrada out of Malacañang. He was later tried and found guilty of plunder. But only six weeks after the verdict was handed down by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, Estrada was pardoned by President Arroyo.

Now, it’s Arroyo that is the target of civil society asking her to resign. “Tama na, sobra na, kumilos na!” [“Enough, too much, act now!”] Is history repeating itself?

18 February 2008

Why Is Neri Afraid?

Many speculations have been made as to what Neri knows about the ZTE-NBN most particularly the direct involvement of Pres. Gloria Arroyo in this abominable affair. After his damaging "Sec. may 200 ka dito" demolition of Abalos, the discredited former Comelec Chairman, many were left disappointed when Neri suddenly clamped up when the Senators started asking him about the nature of his conversation with Arroyo, no amount of coaxing, cajoling and threats was enough to break his Code of Omerta. The question on many people's mind was, What was Neri trying to protect when he repeatedly invoked "Executive Priviledge" during that gruelling 12 hour Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on live television?

We have known the Truth all along as one of the few people that Neri confided his predicament during those fateful days of April 2006, and how he wanted to resign his post of NEDA Director General and Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning over this incident where he lost all his moral respect for Pres. Gloria Arroyo.

We are doing this document to give the public an understanding of this predicament.

What is Neri afraid to tell the public? He is afraid to tell the public that after he reported the Abalos P200 million peso bribe offer, Arroyo casually told him to ignore it and work for its recommendation for approval anyway. That when he protested that it is too controversial and may attract the wrong kind of attention from media, Arroyo retorted back "Pakulo lang ni Joey yan and his father". When he tried to reason that it may not be accommodated in the Chinese ODA package because it has been filled up with a list of projects already, Arroyo again ordered him to remove the low cost housing project and some water project to accommodate the ZTE-NBN deal in the ODA loan. That when he attempted to reason that it may not be approved in time for the Boao Forum which was only two days to go from that fateful April day, Arroyo with raised voice told him to include the ZTE-NBN project in the agenda of the following day's meeting of a combined NEDA Board and Cabinet Committee, who as expected promptly approved the project paving the way for the contract signing between ZTE and DOTC in the next day. Neri is afraid to tell the public that this conversation took place between him and Arroyo because it might spark another impeachment complaint against Arroyo.

Why is Neri afraid to tell the public about this conversation with Arroyo? He is afraid that another impeachment will simply result to more expenses of public funds similar to the Hyatt 10 impeachment crisis, because as DBM Secretary who replaced Boncodin, he was entrusted with the large scale DBM payola operation of Arroyo to Congressmen, Senators and Governors not quite similar to the crude Panlilio incident that the public is witnessing now. He is afraid with a more partisan Andaya at the helm of DBM, more public funds will be spent to buy the silence and favour of these greedy legislators and local executives.

  • He is afraid that with Arroyo's firm control of public funds she can buy all the necessary support from most sectors of society to keep her in power.
  • He is afraid that even if the opposition knows about this conversation with Arroyo, he is afraid that the opposition will not pursue a serious impeachment proceedings against Arroyo, because it is not to their political interest that Noli de Castro becomes President in case Arroyo is impeached and becomes a more formidable political opponent in 2010. This insincere and unpatriotic goal of the opposition is already being manifested by the malicious speed that the Erap pardon is being cooked by Ronnie Puno together with the Erap camp to hastily put a united front of "birds of the same corrupt feather" coalition against the emerging JDV led political opposition.
  • He is afraid that even if the Church knows the truth about Arroyo's direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, the Church will still not call for her resignation due to the closeness of Arroyo's trusted lady liason to the Cardinal of Manila who was very effective during the "Hello Garci" crisis. That Arroyo's Religious Affairs Operators have the Bishops firmly in their "donation" graces, as again manifested by the quick rebuttal of the Mindanao Bishops' of the call of their fellow bishops in Luzon who where calling for the resignation of Arroyo just after Arroyo gave them a visit in Mindanao.
  • He is afraid that even if the military knows the truth about Arroyo's direct involvement in the fraudulent ZTE-NBN deal, the AFP brass is much to indebted to Arroyo for their position and the perks that goes with their position, that they have demonstrated this twisted loyalty with their willingness to detain, remove from the service and even shoot their own men for voicing out their legitimate concerns regarding the corruption and moral authority of their Commander in Chief. It is a sad spectacle to see the respected warriors of the Marines and Special Forces rot in jail with their ideals, while their men are dying even without receiving the measly P150 per day combat pay that was promised to them by Arroyo due to lack of funds and generals gets a gift bag similar to those given to the governors and congressmen just for having dinner with Arroyo the day after that infamous breakfast and lunch meeting where bribe money flowed scandalously free.
  • He is afraid that even if the Media knows the truth about Arroyo's direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN scam, Media will simply wither in the torrents of cash and favors similar to how the Hyatt 10, Hello Garci crisis were killed in the media headlines and Radio and TV coverages. Although he believes in the integrity of a handful of Journalists, he believes that a handful of these mavericks cannot withstand the hordes of paid lackeys of Malacanang. Especially that the Arroyo crisis team is now being handled by the best mercenary money can buy, from Ramos Sulo Operation, Erap's DILG and now Arroyo's troubleshooter, Ronnie Puno. Ably supported by the Media and PR money from PAGCOR being handled by Cerge Remonte to buy positive airtime, headlines and editorials.
  • He is afraid that even if the Business Sector knows about the truth of Arroyo's direct involvement to defraud the coffers of the taxes they are paying, the businessmen will be reluctant to rock the boat of the current economic uptrend, especially with the very close personal and business relationship of the so called leaders of the big business like Ricky Razon of ICTSI, Donald Dee of PCCI and Francis Chua of the Filipino-Chinese Federation to Arroyo herself. He is afraid that the hard earned remittances of Filipino OFWs that is keeping the economy booming and that can keep the economy afloat even under any administration is being wasted under this unholy alliance of Arroyo and her favored businessmen.
  • He is afraid that even if the Civil Society knows the truth about Arroyo's direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal, that the Civil Society is now tired of mass actions after witnessing two failed EDSA revolutions, that Civil Society is now afflicted with a "Rally Fatigue" and cannot muster enough public outrage to denounce Arroyo's "corruption with impunity". He is afraid that the middle class is now indifferent to the corruption that goes around them, not realising that the middle class are the ones mainly carrying the burden of the loan payments for these corrupt deals. He is afraid that the middle class are more interested to become an OFW and to leave this country leaving their family and children behind, and may not care anymore about the crimes being committed against their country by its own President.
  • He is afraid that even if the Masa, the students, the workers knows the truth about Arroyo's direct involvement in the ZTE-NBN deal to steal precious resources from public funds, that they are now too poor and impoverished to be able to afford the time to join mass actions against the abuses of the Arroyo administration, that these former vanguards of mass actions in the country are now completely dependent on financial resources of professional organizers and have turned themselves into a "rally for hire" groups rather than a true and genuine political gathering shouting for reforms.
  • He is afraid that the public may not know the extent of corruption in this country and may wrongly believe that they can cure corruption by simply replacing Arroyo with another person. He is afraid that the public may overlook the systemic and institutionalized nature of the source of corruption in this country, he is afraid that the people will again opt for a regime change without concern or a plan to correct the root causes of corruption in the country. He is afraid that people may not realize that it is not bringing Arroyo down that is difficult, it is establishing a new order that is the difficult task.

This is the predicament of Neri which I want people to realize especially to those who are asking Neri to tell the truth.

Copied from emails circulated.


Photo from

One At A Time

Got a relaxing time traveling around the country courtesy of a friend. It was all fun despite the time and funds involved. I wish I could do this forever and not work hard for the money. Whew! But I have a mouth to feed, loans to pay and a life to live.

Reality bites.

16 February 2008

Life Is Beautiful

Now that friends are seeing me more often than before, they wondered why and asked me personal questions that made me grin and sometimes blush.

The real reason is, I am now out of a damaging relationship. And it has come to a full cycle.

Way back, I pitied the men (others teenagers) before me in the relationship I consider the ultimate end. I saw them being discarded because I was the ‘one” at the moment. I never consider it would come to me. I had chitchat with one of the discards and he told me I would be like him. I only laughed at the prophecy foretold. If he knows my situation now, he would be laughing at me. But the fact is we are now free.

But I never was bitter with the ending. Relieved, was the right word. It was like an escape, a freedom long overdue. I was emotionally drained and sometimes psychologically troubled with that relationship and finally I have broken free.

Now they say I radiated with confidence. I hope they were not just bluffing because deep inside, I am a satiated, relaxed person wanting to kick a new start.

Life is good. Carpe diem!


15 February 2008

Desperate Arroyo

I am an anti-Arroyo. I never voted for her during the elections. I never supported her programs. I did not even accept her hands when she offered me hers during one of her visit in Bohol.

Her desperate tactics to gain popularity again including the declaration that some sectors are out to assassinate her is quite funny. Now she is taking revenge again to businessmen who wanted her to make reforms.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue was created to make sure that taxation becomes a tool for social and economic development, not as a Damocles’ Sword hovering over detractors of the administration,” he said.

“Para bang kung kakampi ka ng administrasyon, puwede kang hindi magbayad ng tax. Pero kung magsasalita ka laban sa administrasyon, humanda ka dahil pakakawalan namin ang BIR para habulin kayo [It’s like if you’re pro-administration, you can get away with not paying taxes, but if you’re not, be prepared because we’re going to unleash the BIR on you],” Senator Manuel Roxas II said.

She claimed that the country is now better but the common Pinoy is not even feeling it.

The Philippines is now facing serious problems the Arroyo (including her husband) administration has started.

Am I whining? Am I seeing only the bad side of her administration?

News Quote from

Pinagtripan si Baby Seb

Woman, here is your son...

I thirst.

14 February 2008

A Cheap Way to Regain Trust

I find it funny when the President of the Philippines, with the help of the military, issued a desperate attempt to recover the Filipinos' faith and trust on her leadership. C'mon! Kumikita na yan. Wala na bang ibang pakulo? Tatablan pa ba si GMA?

Philippine President Said Target of Plot
by Oliver Teves, AP Writer

MANILA, Philippines - Authorities have uncovered alleged plots by al-Qaida-linked militants to assassinate the Philippine president and bomb foreign embassies, officials said Thursday.

Military chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said the assassination plot allegedly was hatched by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group and its Indonesia-based ally, Jemaah Islamiyah.

Brig. Gen. Romeo Prestoza, head of the Presidential Security Group said police uncovered the plot last week.

"It's not only the president who is the target, but also other people ... and embassies," he said without offering specifics.

The reports followed an announcement by security forces that they were going on high alert over an alleged communist rebel plan to infiltrate protests to demand Arroyo's resignation over corruption charges.

The officials did not specify when the attack was expected to occur. But Prestoza said Arroyo's attendance at an alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy on Saturday in northern Baguio city has been canceled and the rest of her schedule was "under assessment."


V-Day, V-Day!

Funny how Valentine's Day is celebrated. I suppose I should date. I have five invites, actually. Dinner. Movies. Sex. Whew! Seems a lot of fun. But wait- who's going to be first?

Valentine's. Confusing.

Illustration: Broken Hearts and Land Mines by Emile Pen


13 February 2008

So Many Questions... The Answers Few

Not having a good night sleep, I was startled when I heard an early morning prayer call from a nearby Moslem mosque here in Tagbilaran. I remember that long time ago, Moslems who do their prayer calls were bombarded by nasty comments in the radio because they were disturbing the majority of the Christian populace. And as I contemplate on its significance, the rhythmic singsong was suddenly interrupted by a chorus of Catholic women singing praises to the Virgin Mary in a dawn rosary. In my entire life, I haven’t heard someone blaming the dawn rosaries of disturbing a night’s sleep.

I was rather amused, in fact I was giggling in bed. I never considered the diversity of culture right here in Tagbilaran City and what the city has become nowadays. Before it were just church bells ringing in the early morning, calling the flock to mass. I no longer hear the bells though but instead a recorded chime or something is played every time. I was wondering if the priests invented this to brag about their new-found technology, which is unfashionable rather than hi-tech, by the way. And I wondered too if people noticed or just didn’t care. Blind obedience? I would rather consider the Moslem prayer call as authentic (culture-wise) despite the use of technology (they use microphone and sound system we called trumpa).

This also reminded me of a discussion from my friend who is assigned in Tagbilaran as of the moment. She noticed that every time she introduces a new concept in the office, her minions would readily accept it but later would do everything to make the concept fail and hound her like a pack of dogs waiting for the kill, her words.

I know Boholanos have the tendency to wait and see to the extent of being subservient. This passive attitude enables the local government executives to be corrupt, sometimes blatantly. When a crier exposes these wrongdoings, almost always, it is the crier who becomes the phony and likened to the boy who cried wolf.

And these troubled me. Was this the reason why the Dagohoy rebellion became successful or un-successful? Is the pack mentality a Boholano trait or an acquired characteristic?

Too many questions…

Photo from

11 February 2008

Visiting Siquijor Again: That Enchanted Island

I thought I would never visit the famous island again. I was there during the 80s and fear was more evident rather than the joy of adventure. Every move was limited and accompanied, just in case.

This time coming to Siquijor is more of a thrill and the trip not even scheduled.

Thanks to my gracious hosts whose roots are from Bohol, my stay there was memorable despite the short notice and the short period. It was fun guys. I do hope I can go back and tour the whole island.

See you again, Siquijor. I am enchanted.

Photos of my trip can be seen here, here and here.


Ignorant HNU Faculty (Ignorance is No Longer Bliss)

A nursing student from Holy Name University in Tagbilaran City got a shock of a lifetime during their recollection sessions! A nun by the name of Sister Evelyn from the Campus Ministry Department of the university told the students that 80% of the people in Panglao Island are already infected with AIDS! She added that it is not even safe if you go there for a dip in the seas of Panglao because just by taking a bath would have you infected (with AIDS).

This is a shocking revelation, knowing how prestigious Holy Name University is and they have a Research Center commissioned by the SWS to do surveys in the province.

If a nun openly discuss these things with numbers to prove, then she is sure of herself. But telling students with a lie and with baseless opinion is very dangerous.

Poor misinformed students...


06 February 2008

Nag-alsa Balutan ang Binalot

I did not know that my post on Binalot, that nice nook at SM City Cebu Foodcourt, was a tribute to the now nonexistent space.

I went there yesterday, already decided on what to eat there, Bangusdobo for only P55, only to find out that their space was already covered with tarpaulin.


Goodbye good food...

Ash Wednesday Today

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, know that life is not all a rush in the pursuit of cash.
So goes the text message I received this morning, reminding me of my Roman Catholic obligation to go to Mass and have my forehead dirtied with ashes from some burnt things priests prepared.

Every Ash Wednesday, I am reminded of my priest-friend who passed away many years back due to liver cirrhosis. Yeah we became friends because we go to the same bar, but did not drink the same poison. He loved brandy, I love beer.

One time he was invited to say mass on an Ash Wednesday in our office. The evil in me was more evident at that time (very discreet now hahahaha). Instead of having my forehead crossed with ashes, I borrowed from one of the girls the reddest lipstick we could find and made the dirtiest red cross ever seen on an Ash Wednesday. Attention-whore that I was (am) I made my point direct. He scolded me during his sermon. I had the biggest grin even the devil could not make at that moment.

It was fashionably fly for me. I didn't erased it til I went home.

From that time on, every Ash Wednesday, that Monsignor will always be remembered. Despite of the fact that he is now an ash or dust or a soul. Whatever. He is dead. May he rest in peace.

Lesson: Never scold me in your sermon hahahaha.

Caricature from

05 February 2008

Skin Good Enough to Eat

But of course! This is Ella, a creation of BMF Sydney, made from 24,000 pieces of peaches as an interpretation of Ella Bache's brand proposition: Skin Good Enough to Eat. Ella Bache Paris is a skin care company.

Looks like tempting to eat!

Photo from

04 February 2008

Would You Believe This?

This is a direct quote from which is advertising job opportunities for Filipinos in Canada right at

According to the NAPWC, the chronic economic and political crisis in The Philippines, including the current state of civil war in the country and the lack of jobs, pushes over 34,000 Filipinos abroad daily in search of a better life. It is estimated that there are around 500,000 Filipinos living in Canada, concentrated in the major cities of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

03 February 2008

Life Begins At 40

Turning 40 I thought would be that easy. Honestly, I have never celebrated my birthdays. Not that I can remember, except that when I was young, The Mother cooked biko (sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and brown sugar) and invited my classmates to come over. That was my first and last birthday celebration. Most of the time I was alone during my birthday, thinking of something good happening to me, daydream, drink as if it was the end of the world, or volunteer to some good cause, in any of that order. I don’t know if having a birthday is a curse or just counting how much more you can live your life.

But being 40 is different. People expect you to be more mature, more responsible, more focused with what you want your life to be. In other words, they want you to be like them.

Which is worse, I think. Nobody, not anyone, would like to become somebody else. Except of course if you are that desperate. Why should I pattern my life with someone else when in fact I could not be like them? I mean I could not be like Bill Gates, or Gloria Arrovo or Lito Osmeña. If I try to be like them I could never be because of some basic principles. Like, I am not a computer wizard, for your information, nor a politician, nor a babble mouth. I am a dropout. Like what Lucien said to me, You are just some dropout from Divine Word College and what can you be proud of? I felt insulted but it was the truth. But at least I have the dignity to accept that fact, who am I and what I have become. Self-respect is one thing. It is the greatest gift one could have.

Which I think is a good way to justify my being 40. There is nothing more sacred and more important than SELF-RESPECT. I’d rather have no money, no friends, and no family than lose my self-respect.

That was why when I was kicked out of my former house (Lucien's house, actually) because I have had enough of insults and had a cleansing amok within my room to preserve my self-dignity and self-respect, I never regretted it. In fact, I was even proud that I finally made an escape after suffering from mental and physical abuses for so many years. Imagine yourself being confined in a jail-like situation that breathing freedom was only a dream. Whew!

And so as I begin to venture my life (they say life begins at 40); I have also gained my freedom, dignity and self-respect once again. Isn't that a great birthday gift one could ever have? I could be that poor and will work to make both ends meet but at least I have my dignity intact.

That is what living life is all about, after all.

(I will be turning 40 on February 6th.)

The Quest for Drunken Madness...

...that turns out to be a girly drinking session.

01 February 2008

No Commercial Breaks

I used to visit Coconuter's blogsite every now and then because of my unusual interest for the unusual man. He is supposed to be an American-born Pinoy who went home to some unknown homeland in the northern part of the country to discover the Pinoy in him. He blogged about his Pinoy experience.

But lately, the site has more ads you could imagine that sometimes, looking for the real blog is quite an arduous task to do. I find it really weird so that I have no choice but leave his site for more relevant blogs. I know there is money with all the Google ads in the site, but making it (the blog site) too commercial sometimes makes the site boring if not bland.

Coconuter's sudden fame was attributed (I believe) to the segment featured at ABS-CBN where he was being interviewed. The Pinoy's unfailing search for tsismis and the quest for more melodramatic scenes made Coconuter an instant idol among Pinoys and bloggers. Every blogger wanted to be linked to his site (I did that!). Google recognized the volume of visitors to his site and awarded him something like Most Visited Site or the likes of it.

What am I trying to drive at? Jealousy? Crab mentality? Just one thing. We go back to blogging and have fun.


Attention Designers

According to the Pantone Color Institute, New York designers are trading traditional seasonal reds and oranges for colors like blue iris (pictured) and lilac in their upcoming fall 2008 collections.

Related: Blue iris and lilac to be completely passé by fall 2009.
For more Color Samples follow this link