Friday, January 23, 2009

Porn Bailout

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another week and America has inaugurated her new President. Indeed, it’s business time (I mean for U.S. politics). How is that? Before (or during) the election, it was ‘yes, we can!’. Now it’s ‘we are in a crisis. We need to get our acts together'.

Seriously, many people have said many things about the so-called new era in American politics or at least the Presidency. It was what The Freeman said on its headline which I would like to quote, 'twas poetic as it was, well, realistic (read: not much romanticism): “... tracing the arc of history to a day many thought would never come, Barrack Obama was sworn in as America's 44th and 1st black President – and waded into a sea of trouble troubles. Obama's inauguration represents a milestone once unthinkable in a nation that has struggled with racial issues since its founding and where segregation was practiced in many southern state just decades ago. It took place outside the U.S. Capitol, which slaves helped build...”

Martin Luther King in his (1963) “I have a Dream speech” predicted (or is it hoped?) that a black American would make it to the highest office of the land in 25 years. He was two decades short. Just the same, it happened.

And the Obama inaugural speech? No Kennedy like, “... Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country...' or Roosevelt like, “... We have nothing to fear but fear itself...” Some observers were quick to say there was no rhetoric, other went to the extent of saying “forgettable”. But then it was realistic. It was not a something to inspire, but a call to work. In other words, walang pambobola, something we seldom get from a good number of Filipino politicians. (Oops, me and my mouth, err, my fingers. Smile, it's a weekend.)

* * *

And porn bailout? Times must indeed be hard. I dunnow if I should take this seriously, but surely it made me smile. News had it that the prime movers of America’s porn industry led by Larry Flynt (of the Hustler fame) is set to request the U.S. Congress for a 5-billion-dollar bailout. Whew! They wanted to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America by citing that when one is depressed or busy with stuff like home mortgage or looking for a job, one doesn’t do sex. (Again, smile, it’s a weekend!)Can we say the same thing about a good number of our Pinoy bros? Nah! We are economically challenged, but I don’t think this made many people sexually depressed, just look at the ballooning population, or the many children especially those who do not have much to do (read: economically challenged)

* * *

Somebody sent a comment on my (blog) report about Mayor Mel Sarmiento's SOCA 2009. It had something to do the AIM award. I thought I wanted to share it with you:“I’m beyond doubt swollen with pride that Calbayog City finished as one of the top performing small cities in the Philippines last PCCRP 2007. I was the researcher / enumerator for Calbayog. It was not a-piece-of-cake conducting the research! I had to frequently visit the respondents. (Other businessmen weren't that cooperative and accommodating). They did not realize that the research was favorable to our dearly loved city. It's depressing just having the thought of it. Nevertheless, what makes me glad and thankful is that there were a number of business managers who straightforwardly responded and answered the questionnaire. I’m looking forward to the next research this 2009. I am optimistic that Calbayog City would make it for a second time!”

* * *

Let me give you something to smile about this weekend. It's what a friend got from a Sunday sermon. We are all familiar with the term: KBL. Nope, it's not the political party. It's the way some of us Catholics are described in the way we carry out our faith: Kasal, Bunyag, Lubong. Let me give you the new term (should I say the English equivalent?) for that: HMD. Hatched, Matched and Dispatched.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Feud

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another week. Move over Richard Gomez, this is not about your TV game show; and also move over Brodett family, your bad blood is nothing compared to the bad blood between the (currently) warring factions in Gaza strip.

As I write this column, news had it that Israel is contemplating on a peaceful solution (?) as suggested by France and Egypt. Well, it has always been so since the time of Carter (why Carter? He’s the first U.S. President I remember seeing in the news). The volatile peace situation in that region will always be a main concern in U.S. Foreign Policy (along with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I guess. And yes, what happened to Bin Laden?). So whoever said or is still dreaming about that special friendship between Filipinos and Americans, don’t dream on, we will never be in their list of priorities, that’s if we take into consideration the shuttle diplomacy that they are into with regard to the current situation in Gaza. Not to mention official U.S. pronouncements, or the absence of it; and yes, it seems like practically every American prexy wanted to have a lasting peace in the Middle East as his legacy. I think I can say the same thing to Mr. Obama.

The bad blood which caused the latest war in the area dates back to biblical times. Sadly I did not take my theology class seriously so I don’t remember from which wife of Abraham came the Jews and the Palestinians (?). Anyway, the point is it’s a family feud which has been waging in the B.C. years and will continue beyond our lifetime. Do I have to add in that matters got worse with Israel (the country) being carved out of a chunk of land supposedly belonging to the Palestinians? Anyway, thanks to CNN and other TV networks, we get to see the hubris that is WAR in the 21st century, the century of the highly-civilized man. No need to imagine how it would have been in earlier times.

So my take on the issue? Yes, we can always resort to prayer. But then again, many must have been praying for peace in the region, so far, to no avail. Just wondering, when Hamas dropped bombs over (Southern) Israel, the world seemed to turned its eyes at everywhere but Israel, yup, the U.N. included. But when Israel started to do its thing, lo and behold, all eyes in Israel, the shuttle diplomacy, the calls to peace, and what have you.

And back here at home. Yes, the Brodetts. One branch goes on TV to make pakiusap about the release of an Alabang boy while another goes to the House to testify in the investigation (in aid of legislation, of course). Now that’s’ the way to wash one’s dirty linen in public, in grand style if I may add.

* * *

Let me leave you with something to smile about this week. It’s something I got via email (as usual): Tomato Story:

A Jobless man applied for the position of 'office boy' at Microsoft.

The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. 'You are employed' he said. Give me your e-mail address and I'll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start.

The man replied 'But I don't have a computer, neither an email'.

'I'm sorry', said the HR manager. If you don't have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn't exist, cannot have the job.'

The man left with no hope at all. He didn't know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10 Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60. The man realized that he can survive by this way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled everyday. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles. 5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US. He started to plan his family's future, and decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded the broker asked him his email.

The man replied, 'I don't have an email.'

The broker answered curiously, 'You don't have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?!!'

The man thought for a while and replied, 'Yes, I'd be an office boy at Microsoft!'

Moral of the story:

Moral 1 : Internet is not the solution to your life.

Moral 2 : If you don't have Internet, and work hard, you can be a millionaire.

Moral 3: If you received this message by email, you are closer to being an office boy/girl, than a millionaire . . . (smile, just wanna wish you a great week ahead rrlr.)

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! This title was supposed to be for my column last Friday when I would have greeted you Happy New Year. Thanks to the holiday bug, it’s only now that I’m doing that and be able to share some thoughts on what else, but something that many of us are into this time of the year: new year’s resolution.

So, what’s my New Year’s resolution? After failing to make good the good number of resolutions I made many ‘New Years’ ago, I have decided that my new year’s resolution is not to make new year’s resolutions anymore (redundant ano?). Seriously, does it always have to take a new year for us to mend our ways? The not-so-good ways, if I may add.

Talking about not-so-good behavior. That brawl at the golf course. I dunnow who behaved badly, but surely a good number of media outfits and persons are having a field day on the issue. I just have one question. Is it one of the perks? Or an occupational hazard? I mean for the officials involved.

And feng shui and the forecasts for the year of the ox (?) and the lucky charms and everything in between. So what about it? I just can’t understand why many among us should get gaga over it. I’m still having a hard time looking at the connection between Filipino belief and tradition (or should I say Catholic faith?) and that of the Chinese. Well, the food of course is a different story. And yes, while we are into the topic, I’m sure many among us ended with rotten fruits after during the first week of January. Thanks (again) to that belief of collecting fruits in time for the new year. I’m wondering how the vendors came up with fruits that are out of season.

* * *

Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento delivered his 2009 State of the City Address last Monday. He did it during the first session of the City Council for the year 2009.

Vice Mayor Ronaldo Aquino presided over the session. In attendance were Councilors Rey James Uy, Ver Porlares, Julius Mancol, Danilo Bernate, Regina Rabuya, Noel Sermense, Raymond Uy, Susano Salurio, Arturo Pasacas, Jonas Montealto, Virgil Clemens, Florencio Enriquez and Charlie Boy CoƱejos.

Also present during the session were the various Department Managers of the LGU.The City Mayor opened his report with some LGU highlights from year 2008. The highlights showed that it was a busy year for the LGU. The activities presented included among others, the following:

  • the USNS Mercy ENCAP and MEDCAP in Samar.
  • the visits of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney and Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.
  • the introduction of the weekly People's Day at the City Hall and in some barangays.
  • the campaign to reassure the public about the availability of rice in the city and the region.
  • the continuing Secure Tenure Program of the City Urban Housing Division.

Mayor Sarmiento also gave the Officials and the People of Calbayog an update on what the various Departments are doing with regard to the service they have rendered to Calbayog. This was done through the presentation of score cards of the various LGU Departments.

It should be noted that it was the same score card system which the City Mayor introduced to RDC-8 and was presented to President Arroyo during the RDC meeting in September 2008. The same was ordered to be implemented in various RDCs all over the country.

The City Mayor also included the various awards the recognition that the LGU received, foremost among which is the recognition from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) citing Calbayog as one of the Most Competitive Small-sized Cities in the Philippines.

Mayor Sarmiento cited a good number of projects for 2009. Some of these projects include the following:

  • the completion of the Calbayog City Sports Complex (Gymnasium)
  • the new Market
  • Convention Center
  • Landfill
  • a new Park

While he ended his report on a positive note, he also noted the not-so-good forecasts for the year ahead. He called on everyone to join hands to work hard for Calbayog and for the country.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Richard Mejido (of Tacloban) got married to Mylenn Calang yesterday. The wedding mass was held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

* * *

Let me leave you with the line that Mayor Mel Sarmiento said to cap his 2009 SOCA. It was a message that Finance Secretary sent him via text:

"Despite the generally unfavorable forecast, we are hopeful that 2009 will be better than expected if we continue to work hard, have faith in ourselves and pray together for our country."

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!


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