Saturday, July 05, 2008


Among the very few honorable men serving President Arroyo's administration is a fellow who stands out and shines for all to see - Eduardo 'Edu' Manzano, a fraternity brother of mine, and currently head of the Optical Media Board (OMB), a line agency directly under the Office of the President (OP). Edu has been doing an excellent job, and has recently waged an all-out war not only to pirates of the movie world, but more particularly to child pornography producers. He has done this also as a private citizen, delivering a dramatic monologue expressing his extreme disgust over the proliferation of pornographic videos that feature Filipino kids. He lamented the fact that many of these discs are on sale at our favorite malls and department stores, some even being next to churches. Edu aired an appeal to these mall operators, church and politicians to follow suit and go all-out in putting a stop to the sale of pornographic materials, and to child pornography itself. Edu is filing charges against mall operators and retailers engaged in the sale of these items. Porn videos are in violation of RA 7610 which guards against child exploitation and abuse. Edu calls on the public to get involved and sign up in a document showing support to this crusade. The document will be posted on the OMB website at - Good luck bro!
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Thanks to Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe, the exchange rate now for their currency there is 25 billion Zimbabwean Dollars to a US Dollar, or 40 Zimbabwean Dollars to a British Pound. A simple lunch there now costs literally billions of Zimbabwean dollars! For example: A double cheeseburger in Harare is ZWD 50 billion, add fries and a Coke to that equals to ZWD 80 billion. Currently, the 25 billion and 50 billion notes are the largest in circulation. This is so mind-boggling. Imagine how much money a Zimbabwean has to bring with him just to go to a grocery? Methinks Mugabe's days are numbered. Many Zimbabweans have been seeking refuge elsewhere fleeing from the claws of the dictator. Back here at home, I'm resigned to the sad fact that President Arroyo will be staying on until 2010 - and beyond. Watch them now as they renew calls for Charter Change. But if Arroyo follows the footsteps of Mugabe persecuting and punishing critics and killing journalists, with her fellow-economists screwing our banking system, our Philippine Peso could be just like the Zimbabwean dollar, God forbid. But for now, our peso is stronger as against the dollar, and could well be better if our government is dead serious on proper governance, beginning with our very own Bangko Sentral.
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Friday, July 04, 2008


Travelling each single day via public transport, I can't help but notice the change happening gradually on our streets. The number of vehicles are slowly decreasing and the MRT and the LRT have gotten to be more like packed sardine cans. People who used to drive every day are now leaving their cars at home or are parking them somewhere next to a transport terminal. Fuel prices have gone up so astronomically high that soon, it's simply going to be quite impossible to drive to work or take the family out on a road trip. Well, I beat all you guys to it some seven years ago when I simply decided to stop driving my car and take to commuting. I never regretted that decision to this very day. In fact, it's like I've forgotten already how it is to drive around ghastly Metro Manila. Commuting is a great way to get to one's destination. Don't be afraid to try it, it can do wonders to your bank account. Imagine all that amount you'd be saving? The secret to it is to simply wear your most comfortable pair of shoes and before you know it, you've covered several kilometers just by walking. It also is one sure way of preventing heart disease and obesity. Walking is good and commuting is beneficial to your health. It's also your own small way of contributing for an emission-free environment.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Planning your next family vacation this early? Go via Sulpicio Lines! You won't forget your voyage, and you'll surely be hugging your family members. Book now and avail of our special one-way trip ticket for half price. You'll flip over our promos! Sulpicio Lines guarantees you a trip to die for!


It's that time of the year once again when President Arroyo delivers her State Of The Nation Address (SONA) on July 28. This time, the Batasan Pambansa will be undergoing a major facelift just for Gloria - to the tune of P94 million in taxpayers' money. Yup, that amount could - again, build more toilets for a number of public schools all over the country where the ratio is one toilet per two thousand pupils. Imagine that amount just to please a pseudo-president? Speaker Prospero 'Boy' Nograles sure knows how to play his cards well wherever and whenever it's needed! After all, he has turned his back on former Speaker Jose de Venecia, regardless of all the favors he had gotten from the latter. For a man who only wanted so much to be mayor of Davao City, he sure has reached the top being the fourth most powerful official in the land. Who knows, he may be a Senator someday? As expected, Gloria's SONA will be filled once again with bloated figures, exaggerations, lies, empty promises and untruths. Reminder: When she delivers her message, watch her nose grow several inches longer.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I received two text messages from ex-captive Ces Drilon last June 24 saying, "Leslie, Ces here using my other phone. Thank you for your prayers and forgive my delayed response. Lost both my phones." And, "Thanks, I also remember your call while I was in captivity. Was just afraid to answer as my captors were around." While I am so happy for Ces' recent release from the hands of her captors, I am also saddened by the abduction of four employees of the Basilan Electric Cooperative by the Abu Sayyaf. Sad because we hardly hear any news about them simply because they're just four 'nobodys' and the media just doesn't give a hoot anymore. That's the cruelty of anonymity. Sadly so, the ransom may not be paid, and four lives could just be put to waste.
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Monday, June 30, 2008


Here's a funny joke. While visiting Washington on an official trip, and after closely monitoring the tragic news over the deaths of a number of Filipinos from the ill-fated M/V Princess Of The Stars, President Arroyo finally decided to call the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the sibling owners of Sulpicio Lines. On separate calls, she asked them the same question why the ship was allowed to sail even at the height of Typhoon Frank, to which they answered similarly, "Ma'am, we thought you were on board!"
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Sunday, June 29, 2008


So, Manny Pacquiao wins the WBC lightweight division crown by knocking down David Diaz. Ho-hum. Well, okay so I should receive it as good news and jump for joy. The bad news is that we're all going to be seeing once again ex-Bayanihan dancer DENR Secretary Lito Atienza, son Ali Atienza and son-in-law Miles Roces as they attempt at earning some 'pogi points' squeezing their way to be right beside Pacquiao for all the country to see when he returns to Manila for a hero's welcome on July 4. It's so sickening and as always, a cheap way for the Atienza's to gain media mileage. For once, can we please see Pacquiao this time WITHOUT Lito Atienza and his boys next to him?! Atienza should just improve on his job as Secretary of the Environment. Plus, it really is 'kabaduyan' for him to be wearing those Polynesian shirts. He cheapens the value of those beautiful shirts, that's why we only see a few guys wearing them in public. They simply wouldn't want to be compared with Atienza. So please to you organizers of the welcome parade for Pacquiao, don't you dare include Lito Atienza, Ali Atienza and Miles Roces once again. 'Di pa ba kayo nagsasawa sa makakapal nilang pagmumukha?

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Sixty-two years ago, on July 4, 1946, the United States of America granted independence to the Philippines. The euphoria of flying our own flag and governing our own land did not exactly mean we were free and independent from American control. The Laurel-Langley Treaty, which granted the Americans the same proprietary rights as Filipinos, continued until its expiration in 1974. An then, there were the US military bases in RP, the biggest of which were in Subic and in Clark, and they would have continued under American ownership and control for 99 years, had President Marcos not ordered a reduction of the military bases' occupancy to 25 years with a review every 5 years. In addition, the US government had to pay lease/rent for the land use, and not just their handing over to us some aid, the amount, frequency and conditions of which would be determined by Washington as it pleases. They wanted Marcos booted out for this. When Cory Aquino came to power, the bases agreement was terminated and the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo sent the occupants of both bases - military personnel, civilian employees, and their families scampering under the thick darkness of the ashfall back to their homeland. But that was not the end of American military and other connections with our country. The People's Republic of China suddenly loomed in the horizon spreading its products (fake and all) across the Pacific and flooding the US mainland with just about anything than could be copied anywhere in the world. Iraq invaded Kuwait, and as a consequence, America shocked and awed that country until its present disintegration. Iran curdles with its nuclear plants under construction (or already completed). Lebanon, Israel and the rest of the Middle East face another crisis. And closer to home, Indonesia's islands shelter Islamist extremists cum terrorists, spilling over the SouthEast Asian region and infiltrating our own Muslim communities some of whom are under the control of a Moro independence movement. By the way, that pirated DVD you buy from them may well contribute to the funding of some of their questionable activities. The Philippines, as historically and geographically destined, is the most strategically located for any American base that needs to operate within the range of the Asia mainland, on to Europe, and more importantly, the Middle East. Our islands are needed more than any concern or interest for the millions of citizens, the current illegitimate president included. But our constitution prohibits any foreign base to be installed in the country. Thus, the "Balikatan" (shouldering?) exercises or whatever else one may wish to call them, under the cover of training our soldiers to fight fellow-Filipinos gone wrongly Islamist or communist, and to use hand-me-down weapons until whatever is "modern" catches up with our psyche. No bases, but check the state-of-the-art airports, the camps, the equipment, the facilities, the sea craft, aircraft, the off-shore fleets of which are all not for our use. And then, the fuss over American military aid - whether it was true that it had been cut, or not. Not so says the Palace from the Pasig. Go check with our envoys in Washington, Not true, says a press statement from Malacanang spin-doctors and apologists/fibbers. Secretary Condoleeza Rice's (aka "paella negra") powerful office has issued the criteria for the granting of US military aid to third-world countries like ours, namely peace and security, or just democratic governance and poverty reduction. Oh dear, we are flunking her criteria? Not so, says Malacanang Seafood Palace. Matter of fact, Palace spokesmen declared the tripling of American military aid this year. But we can do without it, says our AFP.
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