Friday, February 25, 2011

Balay and Samar

Hi there! It’s another weekend. I know that everyone is into things EDSA today. I have reserved my thoughts on that significant event for my next column, which I hope will make it to the deadline for the Monday edition of this paper.

So, what’s with today’s title? These two words, err, names should be very familiar by now. These are the words that came to mind right after Senator Mar Roxas went on TV and disclosed how PNoy reacted to his report on his Taiwan trip; and how VP Binay announced his successful China trip which some quarters referred to as the lengthening of the agony of the Pinoys on death row in China. And it occurred to me, that’s zero (0) point for Balay and one (1) point for Samar. Well, that’s if we consider rescheduling death sentence (I hope I’m using the right term) a success.

And so PNoy and Senator Bongbong recently figured in a tussle (well almost). Yes, Cory Aquino was not a perfect President. And I believe Ninoy’s comment which said something like whoever will follow Marcos as President will have a hard time doing his or her job. Yun lang po.

* * *

Outreach Concert. The CKC-Jose Gomez Orchestra will have its second barangay outreach concert today. This will be held in Barangay Migara. The first outreach concert was held in Barangay Pilar.

* * *

Pasidungog 2011. DepEd Calbayog City Schools Division will hold its 5th Pasidungog for Stakeholders.

Mayor Reynaldo Uy and DepEd Usec Yolanda Quijano will lead the City and DepEd Officials who were invited to the event which will be held tomorrow at the Calbayog City Sports Center.

This year’s pasidungog is anchored on the theme: “Kalidad nga Edukasyon san Kabataan, Responsibilidad san Ngatanan”.

* * *

Good gracious, I’m old! How do you know that you are old? I was with a friend discussing about some details of their forthcoming class reunion. That reunion is supposed to be special simply because it will be held 30 years after their graduation. And then it happened. On the planning board are the following activities (for the members of the class and some folks in selected barangays): medical checkup, bone density test, blood test, cholesterol test, dental operation, and the like.

When the details of your class reunion include things other than just food, booze and music, then you are into things or category that’s for the not-so-young. (Smile! It’s a weekend!)

* * *

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

Friday, February 18, 2011

In aid of . . .

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

Hi there! It’s another weekend. We are a week away to the 25th anniversary of the EDSA revolution. I can still remember some commentators saying that the event defied definitions. It was a revolution (sans the blood) with a fiesta atmosphere. Needless to say, the spirit behind People Power inspired the other movements which resulted among others, in the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. I supposed it was the same spirit which led to Mubarak stepping down and handling power over to well, the military. And the protests are going on across various capitals in the Middle East and Africa.

* * *

And the Supreme Court changed its mind again. As news had it, it seems that the highest court of the land can’t seem to make up its mind on the cityhood issue. I suppose some quarters are praying for the same thing with regards to the SC nod on the impeachment against the ombudsman.

Suddenly, I am reminded about last Sunday’s gospel. There was a line which called for everyone to mean what they say, like yes if it is yes and no if it is no (in matters that we do in life). Like make it either black or white. And it occurred to me, that for most of us, we can hardly be specific and that things oftentimes come not in black or white but in various shades of gray.

* * *

So, the latest feat of the imbestigadors had Angie Reyes shooting himself. Okey, so it’s in aid of legislation. Sige na nga, let’s see what law they will pass this time so as to curb graft and corruption both in high and low places. On the other hand, do you remember a few years back how a member of the lower house crossed sword with the Arroyos just in time for the election and that member of the lower house made his way to the upper house (easily, if I may add). In other words, people who refer to this exercise (both by the acerbic and the pa-cute lawmakers. Count in the silent committee members too) as in aid of reelection cannot be wrong after all.

* * *

And the survey says. Di bale nang pangit basta mayaman. Or so said many Filipinos in that recent SWS survey. There must be a lesson that can be had somewhere. Smile, it’s a weekend.

* * *

The CKC-Jose Gomez Orchestra will have its second barangay outreach concert. This will be held on February 25, 2011 in Barangay Migara. The first outreach concert was held in Barangay Pilar.

* * *

Calbayog achievers. Congratulations to:
  • Riene Dimakiling (Grade 4-A) of Calbayog City SPED Center. He bested 36 contestants in the Scrap Art and Collage Competition during the National Science Quiz 2011 held at the Sta. Cruz Elementary School in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
  • The Calbayog Robot Dance group of Calbayog City SPED Center. They placed second among 18 groups which competed in the robot dance contest during the National Science Quiz 2011 held at the Pedro Guevarra Memorial High School in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

* * *

Birthday greetings to City Treasurer Federico “Rene” Resente. He will turn a year older tomorrow.

* * *

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

Monday, February 14, 2011

That day of the year

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

Hi there! Happy Valentines’ Day everyone! Oops, I can’t believe it, I just wished you to be happy on this day of days, I mean that day of the year which I was never comfy with. Anyway, it’s another week and I understand PNoy recently did an EO which had to do about implementing a total log ban in the country. Like total log ban? It can be done, or so said some quarters. Just wondering, what’s the government’s definition of log ban? I’ve have been hearing that term since the moment I can spell the words “log” and “ban”. So, total log ban in the Philippines? Yeah right! My apologies PNoy, but you’re still my President though.

* * *

So, what’s with today’s title? I am once giving my annual lamentation about Valentine’s Day which happens today. Yup, it’s that day of the year again. Last year, aside from the day falling on Chinese New Year’s day, it was made memorable by the now (in)famous distribution of condoms by the DOH (I think I’d prefer the condoms to Valentines’ day itself but, as one iced tea AD had it, that’s another issue).

Needless to say, the flower vendors, cake shops and yes, count in the telcos too (you know the countless happy-valentines-day-i-love-you text messages), all of them will make a killing today. It’s all over the news. And let’s not even start discussing the fancy dinners, the hotel room promos, etc. There will be so much demand for everything about love, so the “love” providers had to jack up the prices. Well, it’s not highway robbery, is it?

So what the big fuzz about V-Day? Surely we have the U.S. capitalists to thank for. You know, the way they promoted the other significant (kunu) celebrations like fathers’ day and mothers’ day. And I’m wondering why Pinoys have not caught with their American bros’ celebrations of grandparents’ day, secretaries day. And let’s count in veterans’ day too. Last year some supermarkets raked it in selling turkeys by needless to say, riding on Thanksgiving Day (of the US of A).

Back to V-Day. I’ve said this line for the past so many years and I’m saying it again: What is it about that day of the year that if you are not into it, they call you frigid; and if you are into it, you are a hopeless romantic. Ah, es la vida.

* * *

A tale of two Congressmen (I got this somewhere in the net. My apologies I forgot to take note of the site’s name).

In the U.S.. The congressman of the 26th District of New York, Christopher Lee, resigned from his seat at the House of Representative on Wednesday after his shirtless photo was posted on the internet.

Reports emerged saying that the Republican representative who’s married and has a child was flirting via email to a woman he met in Craiglist and he even sent a photo of him who’s wearing no-shirt.

The story of the congressman and the Craiglist woman was posted on the Gawker (site). It was noted that a woman put an ad in the “Women for Men” section of the Craiglist on January 14. Then by afternoon, Christopher Lee replied to the ad using his gmail.com email. On the exchange of email, Mr. Lee simply lied by telling the woman that he was divorced and was on his way to cheat his wife. The congressman’s picture was all over the news.

In the Philippines. A congressman from the Philippines caught possessing illegal drug and pleaded guilty on his crime, and even confessed to the court that he’s an addict of the illegal substance, yet he has not resigned from his seat at the House of Representative of the Philippines.

What do you think?

* * *

This is it for now. Have a great week ahead! Ciao!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lost in Transit (or my 2GO experience)

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

Hi there! It’s a new week. And if I may borrow a line from Mayor Reynaldo Uy’s speech last Friday, thank God it’s over, I mean the EVRAA meet in Calbayog. Delegates were treated to a party last Friday with the Aegis concert, dancing, free dinner and the grand fireworks display.

So far so good, no acerbic comments from the visitors or delegates. But there should be some snide remarks somewhere. Yup, as expected it came from, (drum rolls) some noisy Calbayogonons who happen to be not in the know as to how things were prepared. Well, as I always say it, es la vida. But one thing though, what Calbayog lacked in medals, the City compensated with the best (EVRAA) hosting and of course the good performance of the local schools during national exams.

* * *

I’ll take a break from EVRAA. I’ll be featuring texts of speeches and other details of the events in my upcoming columns. In the meantime, I would like to share my not-so-good experience with a cargo forwarding company (I hope I’m using the right term).

During the third week of January I bought books from a Cebu-based ebay seller. It was around the same time that I bought book from two Manila-based ebay sellers. To make it short, I did the payments and arranged for shipment. All sellers informed me that they were sending it via 2GO ‘coz it’s cheaper, and that there is only a two-day leadtime (or something to that effect). Well, the low rate was good news to a stingy person like me. The books sent from Manila arrived the day after I made payments. Indeed that was great. Well, not with the ones sent from Cebu.

Like the other credible cargo forwarder, 2GO has got a website with a feature which enables a customer to track his package. And as of February 1, 2011, this is the info I got about my package:
  • 1/24/2011 11:33:25 PM, ACCEPTED SHIPMENT FROM CUSTOMER
  • 1/25/2011 3:59:40 AM, LOADED SCAT
  • 1/31/2011 10:00:00 AM, ARRIVAL TACLOBAN
  • 1/31/2011 11:00:00 AM, IN-TRANSIT

A two-day lead time? Let me see, maybe two days travel from Cebu to Ormoc via super cat. Two days stay in Ormoc. Two days travel from Ormoc to Tacloban and I suppose another two days travel from Tacloban to Calbayog.

I checked on January 25, 26 and 30, and the advice I got was “Sir kay waray flight, tingali buwas.” And on Wednesday last week, I was advised “nga narubat an truck nga nag-deliver”. I finally got my books on February 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm. (that’s a few hours after I was told “narubat an truck nga nag-deliver”).

I’m not saying that 2GO is bad, it charges much lower that the other cargo forwarding companies. At 70 pesos, who would have second thoughts about sending stuff through another forwarder? Or maybe it was for the simple reason that they were not going to earn anything from a cargo which paid a paltry 70 pesos. Well, I learned my lesson again and it’s that paying cheap can have its setbacks. But for the headaches it caused me, I think I’d settle for LBC. Nope, let me rephrase that line. 2GO is one of the better companies in the country, no question about it. But their Visayas hub (in my case it reads: Cebu to Calbayog route or sector) is something else. And yes, I have no complains with 2GO Calbayog. They did try to answer my questions. I just don’t know if they made follow-ups.

So you think that the boat trip from Cebu to Calbayog is too long at 10 hours? Well, what would you call the delivery of two pieces of hardbound books from Cebu to Calbayog that took more than a week (that’s January 24, 2011 to February 2, 2011)

Ok, it happens. But even if one is on a vacation, it doesn’t take nine days to travel from Cebu to Calbayog, does it? Well, on foot maybe.

* * *

This is it for now. Let me leave you with a few lines from Mayor Uy’s speech as he thanked the Calbayognons for a successful EVRAA 2011 meet: “I believe that the challenge of hosting EVRAA 2011 brought about the spirit of unity, cooperation and resourcefulness among all Calbayognons. And we hope to see the same spirit as we all move forward to put in place more programs for a more progressive Calbayog.”


Have nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kyong Hee Wat Tsai

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

Hi there! It’s another weekend. And yes, EVRAA 2011 ends today. The Closing ceremony is set a one o’clock this afternoon. It will be followed by the Paalam Night dinner at the NwSSU Oval. Before the grand party, all EVRAA delegates will be treated to a concert by the popular group AEGIS.

* * *

Just in case you’d like to know, today’s title is “Happy New Year” in Fookien. Anyway, as expected a good number of our kababayan got busy yesterday and the day before to prepare stuff in celebration of no need to say, the Chinese New Year. I’m tempted to refer to that day “that other day of the year” (you know, like the way I refer to Valentine’s day). We have our own set of beliefs as Catholic (Christian) Filipinos. What I do not understand is why many of us should go gaga abut this and that trinket and this and that ceremony for Chinese New Year. Es la vida.

* * *

Just a piece of trivia. Like any other sports events, there was the lighting of the friendship flame during this year’s EVRAA meet. It is always nice to observe that ceremony. I’m dreaming one day to see in the region the torch ceremony being done in the manner by which the Olympic cities did their Olympic flames. Anyway, it’s the history buff in me again. If my memory serves me right, that ceremony on the lighting of the Olympic flame first happened in Nazi Germany. Yup, it was supposedly Hitler who conceived the idea and the drama and flare of the ceremony. Well, at least there is something (kinda) nice that we can remember about that troubled man.

* * *

And my comments about the world around me? Thanks to the regional sports meet, I got tired thinking about what to say about what’s happening around me. But I did watch the news though. Anyway, my column would not be complete without some (opinionated) snippets about what’s going on.

Let me take some lines from The Professional Heckler:

Modernong Kahulugan ng Ilang Salita o Parirala
  • Pasalubong: Bonus sa trabahong hindi pa nagagawa
    Halimbawang pangungusap: “Uy, General, mainit na pagbati sa inyong appointment! Bago po kayo magsimula sa inyong trabaho, heto po ang sampung milyong pisong pasalubong. Enjoy!”

  • Pabaon: Bonus sa trabahong walang katiyakan kung nagawa
    Halimbawang pangungusap: “Uy, General, maraming salamat po sa inyong paglilingkod sa bayan. Heto po ang limampung milyong pisong pabaon. Pa
    -burger ka naman! Burger! Burger!”

  • Set up: Kapag ‘di mo matanggap na adik ang iyong anak
    Halimbawang pangungusap: “’Tang-i*a kasi ‘yong kasama niya eh. ‘Nilaglag ang anak ko. ‘Ayun, na-set up kaya inaresto. Ukininam!”

  • Plea bargain agreement: Ibang katawagan sa “Why not coconut?! Malay mo makalusot!
    Halimbawang pangungusap: “Ombudsman, baka naman magawan natin ng paraan ‘tong kaso ko. Ibabalik ko ang one-third ng ninakaw ko pero dapat malinaw ang plea bargain agreement natin. Kailangang abswelto ang aking asawa’t mga anak na kasing-kakapal ko ang mukha.”

    * * *

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

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