Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Does the government give rewards to those who report street violators? If they do, I will probably make a lot of money by reporting on the MMDA. To this day, I am yet to see an MMDA vehicle that has no visible engine emission. The smoke coming out of their vehicles are so heavy that most of their employees are most probably in danger of Tubercolosis, Pneumonia and other lung diseases.

But I am not so greedy. I will probably offer a volume discount since there's a lot of them and probably I will give additional discounts for government accounts. Somebody tell me where is the agency that handles rewards and I will gladly share the bounty.

I am telling you, there's really a lot. :D

Sunday, March 23, 2008


As Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, oil companies join the festivities by pumping up the pump prices gas.

While I have never agreed with their pricing formula (from day 1), I will set aside that topic and for now, talk about another aspect-- how the world oil prices affected us within the past couple of years.

Comparing the prices of crude oil to the retail prices of downstream products (unleaded, diesel, etc.) in this country, we will notice that the movements of the two were not exactly parallel. As of May 2007, crude oil was being traded at the $65 level (per barrel) and at present, the price is moving from $96 ~ 110/barrel - it has almost doubled.

As for the prices of downstream products, I do not have the exact figures but an informal survey assured me that its increases are not even near that magnitude. The reason for such an anomaly is quite Obvious. The peso is stronger than it was 2 years ago and just recently, the tariff was reduced.

Imagine if the peso remains at the P50 = $1/level. The gas prices would have easily doubled and all consumer products should have risen catastrophically. But since the peso got stronger, the current price of commodities have not increased as much.

That is something that some people fail or refuse to realize -- things could have gotten a lot worse had the peso not appreciated. As a dollar earning individual, I, together with this country's OFW's and exporters have lost quite a lot within the last two years. However, I am thankful that my loss also meant lesser burdens for most of the 80 million citizens of this country. My ForEx losses meant lesser income for me but it also extended the life of a lot of people who are unemployed or underemployed - those who never had access to enough pesos.

Summer Colds

Home improvements remind me to install air cleaners inside the house. It seems that flowers are in full bloom today and the summer dust is getting into the house. I now have some colds and I can hear occasional coughs from some people in the household. They say that the only permanent things are death and taxes. For me, it should include expenses, expenses and expenses.

Summer Improvements

Summer is a good time to do some home improvements but as for me, I am about to call some people to do a second home repair for the year. We have dogs that fear no man or machine but breaks into a stampede whenever there are really loud firecrackers in the neighborhood. Those rascals broke our aluminum screen door last Christmas and last night, as firecrackers in the nearby chapel greeted the resurrection. Those adorable dogs! --- Grrrr!


Passing by Carlos Celdran’s blog, I read about his feat of losing 10 pounds from January. Looking back, the lost weight may not be so much but for people our age, that should be substantial enough. I used to gain and lose that much in a day when I was a very active athlete, now I am not so sure. Gotta try a thrice a day treadmill workout to find out. My problem with this gadget is that it doesn’t seem enough. There’s nothing like the good old fashioned road runs to make me really perspire. But with all these time constraints, I may have to make do with the equipments that I have both at home and the office.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I have a suspicion that the Manila Standard knows the value of link baits and its effects to the number of visits and possible Adsense revenues. The way the Google Adsense banners are positioned makes me strongly suspect that Malu Fernandez is a link bait and a possible revenue source in that advertisement scarce publication.

You see, as online publications write controversial materials, they get quoted and linked in other websites (blogs).

So before I go talking about Malu’s latest, here’s a proposal. Whenever you quote anything from the Manila Standard or Malu:
A) Why not copy and paste the pertinent portions into your blog.
B) Copy/paste her article into a new blog and link from there.
b.1. Create a new blog in (it only takes 2 minutes)
b.2. Copy/paste Malu’s entire article there
b.3. Quote/link to the new blog.

You may create your own version or simply ask me to give you posting privileges in that blog so you can lift entire articles.

Here's a word of caution: Write other things in the post so as not to have you easily taken down for plagiarism.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Wait for my post.


This morning, I heard a newsreport that Recah Trinidad is asking for an investigation of the judging in the Pacquiao bout. WTF?

For the record, I thought that Marquez was a bit better than the Pac yesterday.

However, it was a split decision and it just so happened that more judges liked Pacquiao more than Marquez. So be it, he won. It was different during the first bout where the judges scored it a tie. Again, without a clear winner, sans a KO, the decision was left to the judges. Again, so be it. Now, with that fight being controversial, it will probably be good to lobby for a rematch.

Back to Trinidad, If he indeed called for an investigation, I'd say WTF?

An investigation? Was there a crime committed?

You know, a request like that coming from a third party smells of lost gambling money. How much did you lose, Recah Trinidad? Did you feel cheated of your money?

Going around Google, I found this Trinidad article about the Pac. I quote,
"Then, speaking to Manila via Solar Sports, Pacquiao begged his countrymen to unite and be one, forget all the quarrels and mud-slinging, not only when he fights—but forever!

Not a bad try, although Pacquiao must also be told he’s not given a split-decision chance of succeeding in his avowed mission.

The reason is plain and simple.

You cannot unite a simple barangay unit riding on the doubted result of a title fight that, pardon it, has divided the boxing world itself."
In regard to that piece, I have some comments for Recah Trinidad.

A call for unity sounded so worn out but still, it was a call for unity. Why the !@#$% will Pacquiao be unable do such thing simply because he did not clearly win? Can you do better, Recah Trinidad? Can you KO Marquez, who based on yesterday's performance is one of the most intelligent fighters in the world? Do you have to KO someone, just to be able to ask for the country's unity?

Is it too much to ask for unity in this God forsaken country? Don't be be a sorry a#$^ loser, Recah Trinidad.

It is very true that this country unites only when there is a Pacquiao fight. The NPA and the military even declared a truce, so they can both cheer for the Pac.

Why can't you just say "Good fight" and "Thank God, nobody got hurt", like all sportsmen do? Isn't that so worn out for you, Recah Trinidad?

Gimme your bank account and I'll start a fund raising campaign so that we can give back the money that you lost yesterday.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Watching "Imbestigador", people saw how GMA 7 pursued vendors of illegally manufactured DVD’s. Here are some comments:

Yes, sellers of pirated DVD’s are committing economic sabotage. They should be pursued.

GMA, please protect your witnesses. Do not show their faces, their clothes, background, etc. They can easily be identified through those. I know that you know it. Why do you still do it?

GMA, you spend tons of money in producing those soap operas’, why not use the money to create original stories? You know, you now have a reputation for cloning foreign formula. The few times that I went into your channel, I saw rehashed material. You were hyping your technology, etc... But when I looked at a feed of “SUGO”, I immediately recognized the 70’s David Caradine in “Kung Fu”.

Mike Abundo also blogged about “Super Twins” which was a copycat of “Sailor Moon”. That rip-off is now widely known in Japan.

People also noticed the “Asian Treasure” was nothing but a cross of Angelina Jolie’s “Tomb Raider” and Harrison Ford’s “Indiana Jones”. What else do you have which are copied? It makes me ashamed to go to your tune in to your channel, knowing that there are foreigners most likely watching and recognizing the rip-off at the same time.

Bagiuo's Ingenuity

Went to Bagiuo and saw a big market activity in the designer jewelry business. Most of the items were made of gold, due to the mines in the province and silver due to the… silver extracted from tons of x-ray films that are collected in various points in the country and brought to the recycling facilities in the area… that’s what I was told. I think it’s good, if true. Being good recyclers is not bad at all.

Another techie gadget

With the introduction of the Blu-Ray disc player, HD TV, personal computers, video game consoles, and other new gadgets that will come out this year, consumers will need HDMI switches that will facilitate the interface of all HD gadgets with a single HD monitor. The HDMI switch will replace the analog devices such as the coax that we are used to using. What will that mean? New opportunity for importers of electronic items!

Trying some techie matters

A lot of people are now hyping the Asus EEE that became a best seller in this country starting a few months ago. The main contributor to its success is undoubtedly its price, P17~19,000 per unit. However, an examination of its specs will show it to be inferior to the NEO Celeron laptop which went for P20,000 last year. Imagine adding one to three thousand pesos and get a full sized laptop? The only advantage that I see with the EEE is in its size. It’s small enough to fit in my pocket. For students and young professionals, viist the computer shops and ask for the cheapest laptop and see if it’s worthwhile buying instead of the new EEE.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Reading about the Spratly Islands today, I was reminded of that guy who writes mediocre papers in UP but thinks that he is Moses who can walk along the streets of Makati and expect the multitude to follow. He probably imagines himself as the bearded Moses who only needs to dip his stick into the ground for the Red Sea to part. Of course, it's not possible at all.

Anyway, why do I not trust the military to deliver us from evil, (amen)?

Read this piece about the Spratly Islands:

Southwest Cay Invasion:
Southwest Cay, known as Pugad island in the Philippines, as (南子岛) Nanzi Dao in China and as Đảo Song Tử Tây in Vietnam, is an island that belong to the Spratly chain. It was occupied by Philippine forces up to early 1980's only when Vietnamese forces were able to invade the island.

Southwest Cay is in the northern edge of the Spratly chain. It is within North Danger Reef which also contains the Philippine-occupied Northeast Cay (Parola Island), Vietnamese-occupied South Reef and unoccupied North Reef. Southwest Cay and Northeast Cay are just 1.75 miles away from each other. Each island can actually see the other within their respective horizons.

The invasion took place when all the Philippine soldiers guarding the island of Pugad left the island to attend to the birthday party of their commanding officer who is based in nearby Parola Island. Allegedly, some Vietnamese officials managed to send some Vietnamese prostitutes in Parola, labeling it as "a present to the Philippine commanding officer for his birthday and as an effort of Vietnamese soldiers to befriend Philippine soldiers guarding the Spratly chain." Philippine soldiers never expected that Vietnam will do a foul play especially because the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia are already mapping a joint venture in the disputed islands. Vietnam's tactic proved to be effective because all soldiers in Pugad island left for the party. After the party, the returning soldiers were surprised that hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers are already setting tents in the island. The Vietnamese flag replaced the Philippine flag flying in the pole created by Philippine soldiers themselves. The soldiers returned to Parola immediately for fear that Parola is the next target. After higher-ups of the Philippines were informed about the situation, they instructed the troops based in Parola and Pagasa to stay on red alert status. Malacanang officials, headed then by President Ferdinand Marcos, discussed the situation thoroughly for the following weeks. It had been apparent that most of the officials want to attack Pugad to reclaim it. However, after an intelligence report came stating the Vietnam has already built a huge concrete garrison after a few weeks, the officials dropped the plan and tried to resolve the issue diplomatically. However, this approach eventually died along the process making Pugad a Vietnamese-occupied island up to this day.

--From: Wiki
So embarrassing, isn't it? It's a part of the golden history of our country's armed forces. Let's just acknowledge and learn from it. If the military leadership cannot lead itself, why trust them to lead us?

Just to remind the military mutineers, like Trillanes and those riding in his popularity. We all have our own roles in this society. Let us focus in what we can do best and not dip our fingers in areas where we are not good at. If your soldiers do not have guns because your commanding officers are selling it, give them military justice. If your general is joyriding in the medevac chopper while your wounded personnel are dying, do what you have to. But by no means should you blame it on the president and try replacing him/her for it will not take out your problem regarding your phony commanding officer and the free loading general. Get your bearings straight, clean your muskets and stop leaving the life of a rich man.

By the way, whatever happened to that businessman that you and your armed goons threw out of his property?

Summer, here we come!

My mom's early morning call prompted me to salivate over my next trip to Bora.

The Catholic celebration of the Holy Week will probably jumpstart the country’s summer splash for 2008. For a lot of eager tourists, the preparations started way earlier. By the end of last year, a lot of people were already making inventories of their frequent flier miles and mabuhay club mileage points and trying to use to book for cheap flights to Boracay, Cebu and other summer destinations. I hope that there will be no more coup attempts, street violence, kidnappings and any negative event that will sabotage the tourism industry. This country has just started to move forward and for the gains to trickle down to the farthest corners of the economy, we need a few more years of sustained growth. We are not talking about a mere 5% GDP growth here. If possible, we should gain double digit growth for the next 5 years.

Gotta buy a new pillow and more iced tea

With the new Spratly islands scandal, I will probably be watching TV again and that will make my living room my second most inhabited place in the house. In that case, I need to buy a tv mount that will improve the overall layout of my viewing room and make my stay more bearable. It’s been nothing but politics on TV all year round and I am getting sick from it. Well, the issue is undoubtedly still politics but this time, will have a twist of nationalism and a bit of history. That should make it a little exciting for people like Manolo and I.

More comments later!

Monday, March 3, 2008



This day marks the liberation of Manila from the Japanese Imperial Army (1945). A month prior to that (03 Feb 1945), the battle started with a push of a combined US and Filipino troops towards the UST campus which had been turned into an internment camp for American and Filipino prisoners of war and political detainees. Capt. Manuel Colayco, a USAFFE guerrilla officer, became the first known casualty of the campaign that netted thousands of people from both sides dead from the fighting and massacre that happened within the period.
"Countless government buildings, universities and colleges, convents, monasteries and churches, and their accompanying treasures dating to the founding of the city, were decimated. The cultural patrimony (including art, literature, and especially architecture) of the Orient's first truly international melting pot - the confluence of Spanish, American and Asian cultures - was eviscerated. Manila, once touted as the "Pearl of the Orient" and famed as a living monument to the meeting of Asian and European cultures, was virtually wiped out."
Today, 63 years after that heroic day, the country is once again short of heroes. Corruption is the word of the day. The country is ranked as among the most corrupt in the world and the incumbent president is perceived as the most corrupt.

In desperate search for heroes, UST was probably duped in elevating into hero status, a man who's testimony in a big time corruption scandal, if properly analyzed, leaves much to be desired. Admitting to no wrongdoing but only a few (when cornered). He spends more than $10,000 a year in green fees alone (golf), spends a lot more in many luxuries, finances the hobnobbing of some of his kids with the elite few, but maintains several other (hidden) kids in the poor sections of the city.

They say that history is written by the victors. But with the information age at hand, let's see how history will judge Jun Lozada. Was the oldest school in Asia right in elevating this man into a hero? Or were they duped by a scheming and corrupt gangster who turned whistle blower when he failed to get his cut from both sides?


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