Friday, October 03, 2008


Shortly after I had left the Office of the Press Secretary under Secretary Rod Reyes to return to the private sector, I received a personal invitation from then Congressman Heherson 'Sonny' Alvarez to join him at the DENR after himself having been invited by 'newly-installed' President Gloria Arroyo to join her cabinet as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). There, I was appointed by Sonny to run the DENR's Public Affairs Office (PAO) and work hand in hand with career government employees numbering around 60 in that department alone. This was quite a positive challenge for me, having worked with a much smaller staff at the OPS. After some time, Secretary Alvarez faced a tough battle with his opponents during the hearings of the powerful Senate Committee on Appointments because he had allegedly stepped on big toes both in the private sector and in government. In one such occasion as in several others, the department was on a head-on collision with then Manila Mayor Lito Atienza who had positioned himself to tear down the historical Mehan Garden, probably a favorite 'pasyalan' of our grandparents during their time. The purpose for this was to give way for the proposed (and approved) construction of a multi-level parking complex and to give way for the construction of a new home for the City Colleges of Manila (CCM). Of course, this immediately confirmed reports that Mayor Atienza was more concerned with the 'economic aspect' of the city rather than its historical character by preserving its parks and monuments. One also remembers how the equally old art-deco Jai-Alai building on Taft Avenue was torn down unremorsefully in the name of 'urban development.' Atienza was an overnight enemy of environmentalists and conservationists. This after repeated calls by no less that the National Historical Institute (NHI) to preserve important historical landmarks in our country - Atienza's Manila included. But as expected, all such appeals fell on the latter's coin-clogged ears. Well, now that the table is turned, and he now heads the very same department he once ignored and ridiculed, I wonder what he feels now that a huge chunk of the DENR's programs are geared towards 'green projects' and clamp down on too much urbanization of an already urban environment such as Manic Manila, and preserve whatever historical landmarks there are in existence? Trees aren't anymore going to grow on concrete. The murdered centuries-old trees on the murdered memories-filled Mehan Garden are gone forever. There we only now see smoke-emitting jeepneys and pedicabs, buses and taxicabs. Thanks to Lito Atienza's cross-eyed (as in doble kita) vision of Manila, a city that was better off without him. A 'friend of the environment' who acts just like its enemy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I just got word that Senate President Manny Villar just changed his campaign slogan 'Sipag at Tiyaga. The new slogan he is reportedly planning to use for his 2010 presidential bid will be 'C-5 at TAGA !'

(Image from


I belong to the era of the CB radio, that typical American trucker's communications contraption originally meant for his 'rig.' Long before the advent of the mobile cellular phone, the CB radio was king. Pinoys marveled at the technology put into it and it was an overnight hit. Everywhere one went, cars with mounted antennas or "ears" were a common sight on the road. Of these, the most popular brand names were the K-40, Moonraker, Hokushin, Firestick and the ever dependable bullwhip. CB radios varied in brand name, size, capacity in channels and style. The more affordable ones then were the General Electric (GE) units with a basic capacity of 40 channels. Not to be outdone, homeowners equipped their abodes with CBs with matching antennas on their roofs. The more popular ones were the astro-plane type, the Moonraker and the directional "yagui" type. CB clubs and organizations were sprouting like mobile mushrooms then. This brought about the birth of the civic group, some spuriously created to gain access to law enforcement units and the capricious desire to be "deputized" by the police or the military, for obvious reasons. The CB airwaves were screaming with tireless conversations of almost anything under the hot sun, not to mention the frequent "eyeball" with your "good buddies." The 10-code was the linguae francae of the CB enthusiast. The CB was also the Pinoy's 'other tool' of communication because PLDT connections then were difficult to get. We used it both for business and for pleasure, and some for sinister purposes. Soon after the fad faded came the pager courtesy of Pocketbell, EasyCall, Beeper 150 etc. A gadget made originally for doctors was now being used by anyone on the street. But there was just one problem - one-way communication. A pager subscriber was only at the receiving end and still had to run to a telephone to reciprocate. And then, like a ray of sunshine - the mobile cellular telephone! The cellphone changed everyone's lifestyle in just a short time. It made our world smaller, it made our businesses more dynamic, and made cheating husbands more careful, and doubting wives more suspicious, especially if the husband brings his cellphone with him even in the toilet. It added much stress to our daily lives. These days, people would skip a meal just to 'buy load.' Mobile communication now is key to our progress. The days of the cellphone as a luxury item are a thing of the past. Even a lowly 'basurero' owns a Nokia and our 'kasambahay' probably owns a Samsung camera phone. Not to be outdone, our local gardeners who work in cemeteries and take care of our dearly-departed's 'puntod' or 'nitso' surely own a cellphone each. The only problem they encounter each day is that they're always in a "dead spot." As of this writing, Pinoys send a whopping average of 500 million text messages daily, which is probably the reason why we are technically the text capital of the world. Smart Communications has a subscriber base of roughly 19 million, while Globe Telecom has about 17.5 million subscribers. Translate that into their daily profit, and that's why their tri-media ads are the biggest in cost and in diversity, thanks to the Pinoys' number one pastime - texting. I am reminded of a friend who had this bad habit of texting while driving, so he finally kicked the bad habit of driving. Enough said.

"Can a man taketh fire in his bosom, and his cover not be burned?" - Proverbs 6:27

After reading the first part of this post, my friend sent me an e-mail to tell me that this was only the tip of the iceberg. He goes on to write that subject wolf continues to this day to recruit people into joining a new group he is forming somewhere in Mandaluyong City. This sounds perfectly alright except for the fact that these 'draftees' of his are members of the church he once was pastoring and used as his private playground. A sanctuary (as in a holy place of worship) where he changed its whole essence and purpose to now mean a wildlife sanctuary where he can go hunting, or shall I say poaching? Now that's a big no-no. By all means, he is perfectly free to go out fishing and hope and pray for a bountiful catch, or shall I say catch a 'big fish' as in a wealthy whale, a bejeweled bass, a moneyed maliputo, or literally a goldfish? But it is traditional taboo to go fishing right in your neighbor's very own fishpond especially if you don't have the required license to fish (or a license to solemnize a wedding?) You see, my friend added further that while this guy solemnizes weddings even without the needed license to do so, he is dead serious in 'un-solemnizing' his own by threatening to annul his own marriage. As fate would have it, in one of the meetings he was recently conducting, and during the question and answer portion of the same, one female attendee rose to ask, "Is annulment Godly?" Subject wolf was caught unprepared by the question and nervously uttered, "aah...uhm...well, let's ask our lawyer right here in the audience about that..." to which she continued to repeat her question by adding, "No, I'm not asking you if it's legal. I'm asking you if it's Godly." Bingo! Well, at the start of the day (or end of the day depending if he's having a hang-over), this fraudulent fisherman goes to his favorite fastfood joint to take advantage of a free internet connection to chat with his prey and then invites people to take a peek in his friendster account and join in. As I know it, persons over a certain age shouldn't be creating friendster accounts any longer, unless of course one has a dark purpose in doing so. Some kind soul should e-mail Republican Vice-Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and tell her of the existence of a lone wolf on the prowl right here in Metro Manila thousands of miles away from her big state. You see, Governor Palin is a staunch supporter and advocate for the 'controlled population' of wolves in Alaska. She says that that state law which she signed as Governor permits certain individuals to pull out their Remington rifles and shoot those wild wolves dead on their tracks. The reason? To give way for the multiplication in number of Alaska's Caribou and Moose, a wolf's favorite 'to-go' meal. Back here at home, a wounded moose is still fair game to our local wolf, somewhat resembling that of an 'askal jackal.' For the deeper the wound, the easier the kill. Talk about responsible sportsmanship and wildlife conservation! My friend has also been hounded not by wolves, but by incessant suggestions to forgive now whoever has blood in his hands, or in this case, beer and lingerie in his hands. He says that's not a problem really, except for the fact that he finds it quite difficult to forgive someone who doesn't ask for forgiveness and instead puts on a cloak of arrogance, defiance and back-stabbing to all who have gone against his grain so to speak. It's quite hard to stop one's scheming self from sweet-talking and recruiting people into joining an organization, especially if that person's orientation and mindset is a simple money-making design in the business of networking, which is really where he rightfully belongs. ("With their words they showeth much love, but their hearts goeth after their own covetousness." - Ezekiel 33:31). Church leaders should not and should never be treated as "clients," as I was told he openly likes to treat them, even suggesting other church members to do the same. His favorite prey are the nouveau-riche and the parvenu types. I think he often or intentionally confuses a business firm from a church. Church leaders who submit themselves to the dark authority of a man like him will have to account for their actions or inactions to God in due time. To me, it really is no different from allowing a shepherd with a crooked staff to lead his trusting sheep into a waiting ravine. In the hoodwinking, networking world, you're just another client to retain with his 'talk.' Problem is, he doesn't walk the talk, and sooner than later, his audience walks out on him disgusted, disappointed and cheated. And if he continues committing his pet sins, they walk all over him, and then he reacts sour-grapingly, rejecting correction and disciplinary action befitting his behavior with disbelief in one hand, and a threat to sue on the other hand. You see, my friend says that it really is all up to him now. If he sweeps this under the rug again to join his clutter collection of old, it will catch up on him again someday. It will never be resolved until he decides to walk too - towards the light. But the sweetest sins are always committed in the dark, and that explains why everywhere he goes, his larger-than-life shadow follows him. Problem is, that same shadow is not caused by the faint presence of light in front of him, but by the overwhelming presence of darkness right behind him.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Our friend Bono Adaza says that Senator Nene Pimentel is related to the late General Fabian Ver, AFP Chief of Staff under former President Ferdinand Marcos. Bono claims that Pimentel's mother comes from Batac, Ilocos Norte, Marcos' hometown and belongs to the Quilingquing family of that town. Now that explains why both gents somewhat look alike, wouldn't you agree?


The South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) under the watch of Maite Defensor of the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), (sister of Nickel-odious Mike Defensor) is in a mess. Talk about poor management. Motorists living in the south of Manila have to face this hell every single day upon reaching the Alabang overpass, as they drive or commute to work, and then return back to their homes. The engineering work is at a snail's pace and there aren't enough safety signs to warn drivers ahead of time of an impending obstruction. In short, when you're driving along the SLEx, drive at your own risk and make sure you say your prayers because you might just be an added entry in the PNCC/SLEx management's statistics on vehicular accidents occuring every single day and night due to their negligence and unsafe work habits, not to mention the astronomical toll fees each motorist has to cough up for 'safe passage' (kuno). It's plain and simple highway robbery, literally.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The Republic of Ilokoslovakia may someday soon become a reality. Ilocano leaders possibly led by Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., Luis 'Chavit' Singson and Roque 'Roquito' Ablan Jr. are reported readying a manifesto for the creation of an Autonomous Ilocos Region (AIR) composed of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and some other Ilocano provinces. One of its genuine ilocano (GI) leaders said that "if Mindanao and the Cordilleras can gain autonomy, there is no reason why we cannot do the same." And no, their flag will not depict a hammer and tobacco right next to a cup of bagoong and their clenched-fist salute does not mean they are holding tight to their pesos. At the rate our country is being dismembered, we will soon be a nation of dinuguan. Uh-oh, another MOA in the making?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) under the Office of the President (OP) has issued a joint statement on the forthcoming Pacquiao - de la Joya fight. it said that the boxing match could be a serious disadvantage for Pacquiao because of de la Joya's height and reach advantage, the latter being a bigger boxer. In essence, what the GAB was saying was that Pacquiao and his organizers should back out from this scheduled fight because Pacquiao could be seriously hurt from it. Manny's mindless fanatics led by sports commentators Ronnie Nathanielzs and Recah Trinidad and the equally self-serving Monico Puentevella of Bacolod were quick on the draw to claim that the GAB has absolutely no jurisdiction over the matter, and since the match is scheduled to take place outside the country. True, but methinks that when it comes to the safety and well-being of an athlete, especially if he/she is declared a "national treasure," jurisdiction and greed must be set aside for the meantime and for good respectively. But bogus Filipinos like Nathanielzs even said yesterday over DZBB and I quote: "Who is going to give Pacquiao $20 million for his family?" Say that again Ronnie? When is enough money enough then? Manny Pacquiao is already a walking Money Pakyaw! It sure all boils down now to plain and simple greed huh. Easy for you to say that because it ain't your thick face that's gonna get those punches, although many of us wish it was. Money, money, money. That's all you guys ever think of. Shame, shame, shame. In addition, Pacquiao has reiterated his lust for an elective position (again) possibly in 2010. Calling Darlene Antonino-Custodio, time to teach Manny a humbling lesson again, and while you're at it, could you please knock the teeth off from all his attack-dogs and "commissioners" in the fourth estate?