Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sex video scandal: who has the means, motive, opportunity?

As fans of TV crime dramas like CSI and Cold Case, some people have their own conclusions on who the guilty parties are in the current sex video scandal that grips the nation. The victims here are the women who were filmed without their consent. Efforts to portray the one who setup the hidden camera also as a victim just wouldn't fly. It all started with him. Remember that the crime here is not him being seduced by the women, nor them offering him drugs. The crimes are the videotaping and the subsequent release to the Internet.

The crime of unauthorized videotaping is solved with the admission by the culprit. The crime of uploading to the Internet can be solved by following the methods of our TV crime drama detectives, my armchair detective friends say. First who has the means? With today's Internet tools, anybody can easily upload anything to the Internet. Who then had access to the videos? The one who made them, of course. But he had them for a while. Some videos were two years old. Why didn't he upload them then? He always has the opportunity, I suppose, but he doesn't have a motive, so far.

Who else then have access to the videos? Pamela Anderson's and the other notorious sex scandals were stolen. The videos (and computers) in question now were not reported stolen. They were retrieved by the doctor-lover of the lover-doctor. Ahh, so she had the videos. Means? Didn't I tell you it's easy to upload anything to the Internet, much more so if you have techie-friends. Opportunity? May I remind you that between the retrieval last December up to the release, was 5 months of planning and opportunity.

Motive? Imagine this dialog:
Witch Doctor: You two (four?) timing snake, how could you betray me? After the Php300k allowance and car and European trips?
Hidden Komeraman: They drugged me. But forget that, I will make you happy. Besides, I have a video of us too.
Witch Doctor: Ohh, please don't leak it. I don't want to be a model for prunes. Besides, you're the only one who can make me happy. I forgive you. I'll deal with them in my own way!
Hidden Komeraman: I know you can't resist me.
So what happens next? The lady doctor changed her lawyer. From a pock-marked brilliant trial lawyer to a TV-friendly-faced brilliant academician lawyer. Preparing for the media in the long haul? If there was also a video with the lady doctor, why wasn't it leaked like the others? If there was also a video with a comedienne, why wasn't it leaked, too? Because they can control what leaks, and the comedienne supposedly enjoys the protection of really big people. Then they contrive a story of retrieving the computer and asking others to delete the videos. Introducing other people in the scenario affords the couple reasonable doubt. Then divert the story by alleging drug use to the victim. This wouldn't fly either because that would imply drug use in the other videos including the one with the lady doctor. So they try to make the doctor look hapless and pitiable by dousing him with water. Meanwhile the lady doctor flees. Even if others regard flight as guilt.

With all the obfuscation and media machinations, the public will get tired of this whole show. But the victims remain victims. People can imagine the lady doctor having the last laugh - 'I told you when a guy already has a girlfriend, don't go in there and try to have sex with him.'. Then the doctor makes love to a prune. Hahahaha.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hopeless PAG-ASA III

Another blog pointed out PAG-ASA's kapalpakan last year. He made a sensible suggestion for the PAG-ASA to compare its weather forecast first with U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) and other countries’ weather forecast such as Japan, Taiwan or Hong Kong before announcing it in public. Or better yet, just tune in to the other weather bureaus. Our weather agency has the knack of declaring public storm signals and the lack of storms to justify the warnings.

Related to the hot Monday and Tuesday last week, PAG-ASA forecasted the hot weather that has plagued Metro Manila and nearby areas to go on for one to two more weeks before the rains come in. It said this is due to the ridge of a high-pressure area across Luzon. "So far, our forecasting shows this hot weather may persist for one to two weeks more," a spokesman said on radio.

But the weather was not listening. Metro Manila experienced a very heavy downpour this afternoon. Flash floods and heavy traffic await the payday crowd, just because the rains was not tuned in to PAG-ASA.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

While we're not looking

On January 30, this cute administration gushed over what it called a better-than-expected economic growth as gleaned from its own official statistics. The government’s economic managers claimed the results were  "respectable" compared to its Asian peers. The 4th quarter growth of 4.5% exceeded official estimates of 3.6-4.4%, pulling up the full-year result to 4.6% where the target range was 4.1-4.8%.

But wait, while we were not looking, the government has revised downward the economic expansion it proudly screamed, with officials saying they "overestimated" economic numbers. Now they say the gross domestic product in the 4th quarter was only at 2.9%, from 4.5% that they originally announced. Because of this downward revision, growth in 2008 was ony at 3.8%, much lower than 4.6% growth originally reported.

They trumpeted the 4.5% in the headlines. Expect the lower 2.9% to be buried deep inside the business pages. I wonder how they will spin it.

Hopeless PAG-ASA II

Two and a half weeks after declaring that the rainy season is here and still without not a drop of rain, the two hottest days of the year came in succession last Monday and Tuesday to further burn PAG-ASA's reputation. Perhaps reeling from heat stroke, the PAG-ASA boldly proclaimed that Wednesday will be the hottest. Wtf!@#$%^&*() PAG-ASA making another prediction?

The weather gods must be angry. They must be punishing the PAG-ASA because Wednesday was cloudy and in fact it rained in Metro Manila. They were enough to cool Metro Manila and again make PAG-ASA terribly wrong. PAG-ASA = FAIL! Utterly hopeless.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hopeless PAG-ASA

When typhoon "Emong" hit land early this month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAG-ASA) chief weather forecaster said, “Let us be prepared, It is the start of the storm season in the Philippines.” The welcome rains came but not in torrential downpour to quench the scorched earth. So a day after, he made another statement - “The rains may be here, but it’s too early to say goodbye to summer.” Wtf!!@#$%^&*.

But less than a week later, PAG-ASA said six more storms are expected to hit the country between now (May 12) and July. The following day it declares that the rainy season is officially here. But the summer heat persisted with a devilish vengeance, but PAG-ASA claims that heat during rainy season is normal. Wtf!@#$%^&* again.

The end of May nears, it's now two and a half weeks into the rainy season and we have not had a drop of rain. For the six-storms-before-July prediction to be true, PAG-ASA must now be doing the rain dance and singing their lungs out offkey, praying for six storms in June. I remember the joke about the predicted storm that did not come because "masama ang panahon". Now PAG-ASA can claim the the storms thid not come because they did not like the hot Manila weather.

Correct weather forecasts are important in a country where 40% of the national product comes from agriculture. Farmers need to know when they can start to plant, to take advantage of the rains. I know weather forecasting is difficult, but the PAG-ASA versions are way off. Amanda Pineda (PAG-ASA-A, the Tessie Tomas character in Champoy) gave more accurate forecasts. And the real PAG-ASA's forecasts are funnier.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

White Hair Chronicles I

I have more than my fair share of white hairs thus I look older than my actual age. Here are instances when people thought I am much older.
I used to accompany my son on field trips. I noticed that all other parents were in their late 20s or early 30s. These other parents always had a respectful 'po' and 'opo' when talking to me. They keep on addressing me as 'sir'. It does not help that my son is the youngest son in his batch and could actually be my grandson IF I had a child at 16, AND that child had his own by 16.

So I tried to mingle with parents who looked to be in the same age demographics as I am. There was this man who had the same gray like mine. Aha, Ok, I thought to myself, this man is around my age. Then he said, "My daughter is ill. So I had to take the boy this trip. Apo ko na yan. (He's my grandson) pointing to a boy playing with my son. "Ikaw, pang-ilang apo mo na yan?", he asked me, thinking my son is my grandson. Argh, I am now a member of the grandfathers' row? But I was only 40 then, he was 57. Either I looked 57 at 40, or he was 40-looking 57.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Swine flu victims, or how Pinoys manage to find humor in sex scandals

Trust the Pinoy to find humor in everything. Psychologists say that it is one of our coping mechanism. So in the current talk of the nation, we expect jokes, puns , and play on words, to surface over the hurricane of a scandal that hit Katrina. Some of the ones I heard lately:
  1. The videos were taken by a hayden kho-mera (hidden camera). 
  2. The female star will change her name to Katina Halinghing.
  3. One episode's apt title is "Ang Aircon", because the camera focused on the aircon and not on the lovers.
  4. The first Pinoy victims of the swine flu are Katrina and Maricar, kasi binaboy sila.
  5. The Vicky episode features a Belo-job.
  6. If Maricar loses acting jobs because of the scandal, she can always be a racehorse jockey, she rides well, magaling mangabayo.

Still gung-ho on a Cavs-Nuggets finals!

People and the NBA seem to favor a Cavs-Lakers finals. Since I am anti-Kobe and not really a Cavs fan, I'd like to see a Cavs-Nuggets setto. I believe the Lakers got lucky in Game 1. They managed to "steal one" at home. I also think Kobe cannot dominate on a nightly basis anymore. The only kink on the Nuggets is Karl's jinx. He almost always is good early in the season only to crumble in the playoffs. He had that chance in the 90's with Kemp/Payton with Jordan's fling with baseball. But he cannot rise up further come the playoffs.

But now, the Nuggets did what I expected of them, to win one in LA. In doing so, I believe, Karl is over the hump in the finals. The win makes the Nuggets a mentally tougher team. Moreover, the Lakers miss Tex Winter.

On the other hand, the Cavs may have lost one at home. But I think it was a fluke. The Cavs will win game two and dominate the Magic from now on. I believe it is not yet Superman's time. It is still the King James show.

There can only be one.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Katrina Halili - camel toe sighting

Amidst the present controversy over her sex video with a confessed troubled cosmetic surgeon, this picture reminds us why she is one of the hottest Pinays. She is shown here in a photo-shoot with Travis Kraft, of the adowbowng manakk fame.
To those who want the videos, let me say I don't have them, I don't keep them. But here's a link to the full torrent download of the hayden kho-mera videos.

While many Filipinos have enjoyed the videos, all of us join the victims (yes, Katrina, Maricar, and the Brazilian) in their fight against the sick doctor. Theirs videos are very much unlike those of Paris', Kim's, and Pamela's. First they were taken without their consent (thus with deceit) and then released without their approval (thus with malice).

Hayden's reported counselling does not mitigate his actions. Even if the videos were uploaded by his friend without his consent, the fact that he shot it surreptitiously shows bad intentions on his part.

Bigtime FAIL!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Widow of murdered activist killed in front of children - GMANews.TV Special Reports

GMANews.TV - Widow of murdered activist killed in front of children - Special Report - Latest Philippine News

The kids, 10 & 8 yo, saw their mother murdered. Two years ago, they saw their father murdered, too. No need to indoctrinate these kids when they grow up. The seeds of war are in them.

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can this survivor survive this?

Reports say that Ethan Zohn, Survivor 2002 winner, has cancer. He began treatments last week. If he survives this, he will be a survivor twice over. Tough guy.

A Cutie Priest = Babe magnet

A Miami priest is in the news after a tabloid featured photos of him cavorting on the beach with a woman, fondling her and engaging in other sexually compromising positions. Rev. Alberto Cutié has since been relieved as administrator of his parish. But the scandal is not as shocking to the world as would have been if he was caught with a minor, male or female. Catholics, especially Filipinos, have been desensitized with that. If at all, the church's hypocrisy over the matter of celibacy was exposed again.

Filipinos have heard of similar scandals since Rizal's Noli. We know priests who have left priesthood to marry. Besides, with a name like Cutie, and being a priest - he's a sure-fire babe magnet. He will be forgiven.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Five mistakes managers make most often

My guest blog, from TechRepublic:

Author: Toni Bowers
Some management mistakes are so common that you can actually compile them into a list. If you’re a manager struggling to find out why your team is dysfunctional, take a look at the behaviors in this list and see if any look familiar.
  1. Not communicating with the team. I know, I know, you’ve seen the advice for communicating so often you want to smack someone. I want to smack myself for saying it so often. But you know what? Unless you’re on the front line heading into a military battle, you have to take time to communicate with your team members. You don’t have to pass on every shred of information you’ve gotten from upper management on a new initiative, but you have to give them enough information to know why they’re being asked to do what they’re being asked to do. The more information your team members have, the more ownership they’ll feel in the process, and the better they’ll perform.
  2. Continually focusing on the negative. Thinking in negative terms is a common result from working in a reactive environment, which IT tends to be. In that environment, IT spends most of its time keeping the negative to a minimum with goals such as decreasing network downtime or putting out fires. A good leader has to make an effort to recognize the positive. (How about mentioning increased uptime?) Recognize your people for the forward progress they make and not just for their efforts to keep things from getting worse.
  3. Changing policy due to one person. The term “team” makes some managers think they have to treat everyone the same way. This is true in many cases, but if one person has a performance issue, don’t take across-the-board measures to correct it just because you’re afraid of confronting that one team member. If one team member is failing to complete some duties in a timely manner, don’t introduce a policy forcing the whole team to submit weekly progress reports. Deal only with the one with the issues.
  4. Not understanding the needs and concerns of your team. Some IT leaders find it virtually impossible to tell their bosses that something can’t be done. The team’s bandwidth or overall state of mind takes a backseat to real or imagined glory of being the guy who “gets things done.” Good managers don’t over-promise on their team’s behalf.
  5. Never admitting you’re wrong or never taking responsibility. There’s risk involved in being a manager of a team. And that risk is, if your team fails at something, you should and will be the one held accountable. It doesn’t matter if one team member screwed something up; your job was to manage the overall process of all the team members, and you didn’t do it. So suck it up and own up to that. On a related note, if one of your actions caused a kink in a project, admit it. It’s ironic but not owning up to a problem damages your credibility with your team more than simply saying, “I was wrong.”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ocean Park experience, doctor fishes nibble off my dead skin

We visited the Manila Ocean Park, a world-class oceanarium that compares with the Underwater World in Singapore and the Sea World in Jakarta. Press releases say that the MOP is bigger than the Singapore's, but I doubt it. But it also has a touching tank where visitors can touch star fishes, baby sharks, and giant clams. It is a good educational trip for kids (and adults) who seldom have the chance to see nature up close.

The MOP is on a building on stilts while the Sentosa and Ancol oceanariums are built on reclaimed lands. The underwater tunnel is much shorter than the tunnels in the Singapore and Jakarta, as I remember them. The Singapore underwater is much better because it had a moving platform so the guests don't walk through the tunner, they glide. The MOP tunnel appears to be wider, though.

The ticket costs Php400 for adults and Php350 for kids below 3.5 ft tall. It is still too stiff for Juan de la Cruz, but it's cheaper than the ticket to Singapore's Underwater World for which you have to cough up S$120 (around Php3840). That also includes the Dolphin show. The Jakarta oceanarium ticket sells for around Php150.

An upcoming attraction to the MOP is the scuba diving and snorkling facilities, patterned after Singapore. Expect the tickets for this to be astronomical. But at least you won't have to outside of Manila to enjoy the corals.

They have an ongoing promo where for Php500, you get  to enjoy the aquarium for an unlimited time and afterward you get a 10 minute treatment at their fish spa and a ride at their glass bottom boat. It is a good bargain because if you just paid Php400 for the ticket and decided that you want the spa treatment that is another Php120. The boat tide is another Php150.

The fish spa is a wading pool with nibble fishes or doctor fishes. The fishes feed on dead skin cells. Since they consume such cells (when they have nothing else to eat), they leave the healthy skin to grow. You will be startled the first time they nibble off the dead skin off your feet. It takes a while to get used to the tingling and ticklish sensation. The funny thing is that the moment I dipped my feet on the pool, the fishes went on a feeding frenzy. They left the feet they were munching on and attacked my unpedicured feet. It was embarrassing because it was very noticeable that most fishes were on my feet, while the others had just 2 to 5. My skin cells are dead? They feasted so much food, I thought I watched them grow before my eyes.

Joy's reaction to the whole thing is very funny. She had a tortured laugh throughout. But she endured it because of the purported benefits.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is the world ready for the Filipino?

We often hear remarks about the Filipino that when we go abroad, we are very law abiding. Indeed, we know how to be successful abroad. We know how to follow rules - when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Close to 10 million Filipinos are abroad. We are ever ready for the world. But is the world ready for us?

A Canadian school principal repeatedly disciplined Luc Cagadoc, a 7-year old Filipino boy, for eating in the customary Filipino manner with fork and spoon during lunch in school. In effect, the school principal wants the boy to "eat the way Canadians eat" because if he "eats like a pig he has to go to another table because this is the way we do it and how we’re going to do it every time."

What? These Canadians never heard of the word spoon-feeding? It means using spoon to feed. They'd be more grossed-out if they see him eat with his hands.

In another story, Amador Bernabe, a Filipino machine operator in Australia was fired because of the "tabo" scandal. He was fired over his habit of using water instead the usual toilet paper, like most Filipinos. Rich or poor, Pinoys invariably use the "tabo", the great equalizer. Bernabe's boss reprimanded him and threatened to fire him if he would not stop using water, and instead “follow the Australian way” (use toilet paper). When Bernabe wouldn’t back down, he was fired.

What again? These Australians don't know that using water is cleaner? I suppose if they take a bath by wiping themselves with toilet paper.

Filipinos are quick to adapt the new culture's way, except for the ingesting and for the excreting. But for all the others in between, the Filipino is ready for the world. The world better be ready for him because it takes awhile to get the Pinoy out of the Filipino.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The government spins

With the ongoing economic uncertainties, Filipinos are saving more and spending less, a recent survey found. According to the Nielsen consumer confidence survey, 69 percent of Filipino consumers prefer to put cash left after paying for basic expenses into savings--up 3 percentage points from the 66 percent in the last six months of 2008.The survey also said that less consumers are spending on new clothes (35 percent from 39 percent), pay off debts (32 percent from 37 percent) or go out for a vacation (27 percent from 28 percent).

The Nielsen online survey showed that overall consumer confidence level in the Philippines dropped with the rest of the world. The Filipinos' decline in spending is forced, we have nothing to spend anyway.

But expect this cute administration to find things differently. According to its own consumer expectations survey, negative sentiments among consumers declined significantly in the first three months of the year. But it glossed over the fact that the sentiments are still negative!

The survey said optimism was on the rise only among low-income families, these families have hit rock bottom, they have nowhere to go but up. The higher income families are more pessimistic. Buying intention of consumer households also showed improvement, however, the survey proponents has yet to track whether these buying intentions translated to actual increases in consumption.

Well, apparently not, as the independent Nielsen survey showed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dealing with the insecurely paranoid

An old friend is still having some problems with his supervisors. Based on his description of his bosses, I say that they are an insecure bunch bordering on paranoia. I surfed the web for cases similar to his and this is what I sent him:

This is from the CareerKnowHow website:

Few Things are More Destructive Than an Insecure Boss
by Ramon Greenwood
Few things are more destructive to a career than a boss who is insecure. Unfortunately, it is a near certainty that most people will encounter one or more such persons along the way.
"The actions of an insecure boss will eventually create an insecure organization, riddled with anxiety and indecision," says Ramon Greenwood, senior career counselor at Common Sense At "People will spend more time looking over their shoulders than looking ahead. Good defenses become more important than effective offenses."
Seven Traits Of An Insecure Boss
You will know your boss is suffering from an insecurity complex when he or she is engaging in behavior highlighted by these seven such traits:
1. The boss insists on absolute control over everything in the department. He rules with an iron hand, refusing to delegate any real authority. He doesn't trust anyone. He has few allies. Those allies he does enlist are formed into a tight little clique strongly obligated to his authority and dependent on it. They live an uncertain life on a short leash.
2. The boss constantly interferes in the work of his staff. Second guesses are the order of the day.
3. He constantly defends his position. Every question or hint of criticism is treated as a challenge to his worth and authority. He doubts he has the respect of his associates. Those who exhibit a mind of their own are under constant attack.
4. The insecure boss is most often an absolute perfectionist. He will climb the wall when you make a mistake. But look out. When he fouls up, he will blame it on someone else. He has to be right every time.
5. He will resist making decisions. This means endless studies and return trips to the drawing boards.
6. He will frequently remind you who is boss.
7. He finds it next to impossible to laugh at himself, but he is quick to laugh at others.
Seven Actions You Can Take
There are no certain quick fixes, but there are seven steps that will help mitigate the situation and advance your own interests. Actually, insecure bosses can offer opportunities.
1. Be certain you are not contributing to your superior's low self-esteem. Do everything you can to reassure him of your respect for his position and your commitment to helping him do his job.
2. Shore him up at every opportunity. Learn where he feels most insecure--where his hot buttons are--and make a special effort to be
helpful in these areas.
3. When you have to challenge him, and surely you will from time to time, be certain to do it in a positive way. Don't question his authority. Never challenge or criticize the boss in the presence of others.
4. Never go around your insecure boss to deal directly with his boss without explicit approval. Make sure he realizes that you clearly understand the hierarchical relationships. You don't want to become an endangered species because you are seen as questioning his judgement and appealing to higher authorities.
5. Always be sure he gets more than his fair share of credit for your good work. Stay one step behind him when the limelight shines.
6. Find some of his good points and acknowledge them, publicly as well as privately. Remember, your boss may be a pain in the neck to work with, but surely he must have some redeeming features worthy of compliments.
7. Think of your own insecurities and what helps you deal with them. Apply what you learn from this analysis to dealing with your insecure boss.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eternal sunshine of the spotted mind II

I have written before about the optimism of this cute administration. Why not, when you hit rock bottom there is no way but up. But the way we see things cloud our resolve to make them better. When things go bad, this administration turns delusional and say they are just perceptions and not reality. Shades of  "she's the one talking but she's not the one speaking" - plain doublespeak.

Take the case of dwindling foreign direct investment. It is unfortunate that there is a global crisis in addition to the local crisis we are having since this cute administration took over. But the government downplays the lower FDI and celebrates its projected zero growth. We extol the resilience of the economy when the FDI has stooped to 1/4 of its level a year ago. How low can you go before it breaks?

The recorded FDI in Jan-Feb 2009 amounts to US$16 million. Manny Pacquiao earned more than that with his purse and PPV shares in the Hatton fight. Pacman's gross pay is more than the FDI that the entire Philippines attracted in February. And the government is happy?

Of course, the government can always tweak its statistics. The SWS unemployment survey says that adult unemployement is now at record high; which is consistent with the global trend. The government includes the 15-year olds in its own labor force survey. Moreover, the government survey used another definition starting 2005 resulting in the lowest unemployment rates in years. Clever, huh?

The graph below shows the unemployment curve dropping starting 2005. Is this a result of GMA's 1 million jobs a year program? No! This is caused by the adoption of the new definition. The blue line indicates what could have been the jobless rate had they not redefined terms. Clearly the job creation program failed. Not so clever, after all! The other graph is from the SWS website. It shows the increasing adult jobless rate.

Reconciling the SWS survey with the government's can lead to a disturbing conclusion - that there are relatively more entrants to the labor force from the 15-18 year olds than any other age group annually. These kids should be in school. Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan! What happens to their future and this nation's future?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PacMan is on the 2009 Time 100

Manny Pacquaio made it to the 2009 Time 100 list of influential people. He deserves it. He influences all Filipinos, from the cute one in the palace down to the lowly homeless ones, all 90 million of us. Though he deserves it, how he made it to the list where people can vote online says a lot about the Internet habits of Filipinos.

Pacquiao also topped the ESPN Champion of Champions poll in December 2008 in another online voting poll. He was pitted against a cricket god from a country with a billion people. How do PacMan fans react? With national pride and sporting pride on the line (or online), we voted for PacMan over and over again, till he gets a 9:1 margin over the Indian hero.

In Time magazine's turn to generate traffic to its website, fans are asked to vote (using a slider) for their bet, while they can also negatively vote (by sliding to the left) for others. Even if Pinoy fans voted for PacMan all the way up and unvoted for others all the way down, his recent successes and the way he carries the spirit of this wretched land merit him a spot in Time's list.

Here is the complete article on Time:

Manny Pacquiao
By Lennox Lewis

Pound for pound, Manny Pacquiao is the best boxer in the world. But even more important than holding that distinction, Manny has connected with the people of his home country, the Philippines, to the point where he's almost like a god. The people have rallied behind him and feel like they're a part of him, because they can see his talent, his dedication, his grace and his class. The grip he holds over the Philippines is similar to Nelson Mandela's influence in South Africa. I can surely see Manny becoming the Philippine President one day.

In fact, he already ran for Congress in the Philippines but lost, in part because voters thought he could do more for the country as an inspirational champion boxer. I agree with the Filipino people. Manny, 30, already has a true global reach, and his influence will only expand as he gets better. Manny is from the Muhammad Ali school. He's a boxer, a puncher and a mover — a champion in four weight divisions. He doesn't stand there and take shots. He throws that wicked jab and is so quick to dodge trouble.

Boxing needs a guy like Manny. Too often, when something positive develops, the sport takes two steps backward; you never know where the black eye is going to come from. With Manny, you don't have to worry about that. He just loves the sport and knows he's carrying the hopes of his country in the ring.

Lewis, the former world heavyweight champion, is a boxing commentator for HBO Sports

Fast Fact: Pacquiao is the first athlete the Philippine Postal Corp. has honored with his own stamp.

Amazing happens

Where amazing happens. An Orlando Magic fan is demanding an apology from Glen Davis after the Celtics' thrilling win in Game 4 yesterday, where Big Baby hit the winning shot with no time left. No this is not a joke, it is true. The fan sent an email to the NBA complaining that Davis crossed the line, literally, and embarrassed his son. In the e-mail, the fan said Davis conducted himself like a "raging animal with no regard for fans' personal safety." According to him Big Bay shoved his 12-year-old son with such force, that the boy's baseball cap catapulted into the air and the boy went tumbling into his courtside seat. Apparently the fan and his son sits at VIP row A seats 5&6. Here's a video of Big Baby's heroics and the funny (not to the father) incident. Check 0:59.

Amazing shot. Amazing fan. Hahaha.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy nostalgia

We experience nostalgia more as we age. Invariably, we long for our childhood memories and those who relocated have strong feelings of homesickness. Sometimes nostalgia is triggered by discontent by present situation. Nostalgia provides a sense of comfort for stressed-out adults. That is why folks today fondly remember martial law as if life was easier then. It just shows how bad life has turned under GMA. 

Sometimes nostalgia can be painful. Psychologists say that painful nostalgia can often be addressed by planning a visit to a childhood hometown. The power of knowing you can revisit parts of your past can help to lessen the pain. Feelings of nostalgia are normal and healthy, but making a conscious effort to live in the past is not.

My elementary school batchmates are planning a reunion, some 35+ years after we last saw each other. I am sure all of us are nostalgically happy, gauging by the posts in our e-group. We will not be living in the past. We just want to see each other again. Whatever childish problems or petty rivalries or healthy competition we had before in our youth, and later in life, should not get in the way of the chance of being happy again with each other's company.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Newspaper editorials against Pacquiao are just overreactions. Pacquiao is not being irresponsible when he chose to come back despite the DOH secretary's publicity hugging plea for him to postpone his trip. The DOH chose to highlight the WHO local representative's suggestion for Pac to delay his trip. Actually the WHO local rep also said Pac can go home but he is asked to observe social distancing. When airport authorities allowed the likes of Lito Atienza and others to mob Pacquiao upon his return, this is not Pac's irresponsiblity. It is of the airport's and DOH's.

The WHO does not actually advise against travelling. It's website clearly states that: "If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of influenza, you should not travel. If you have any doubts about your health, you should check with your health care provider." Pacman was not sick when he travelled. He could have gotten the virus if he stayed in the US longer because that's where the virus is. Imagine lots of Americans also come and see him there.

The WHO also has this to add in its website:

"The Although identifying signs and symptoms of influenza in travellers can help track the path of the outbreak, it will not reduce the spread of influenza, as the virus can be transmitted from person to person before the onset of symptoms.
      Scientific research based on mathematical modelling shows that restricting travel would be of limited or no benefit in stopping the spread of disease. Historical records of previous influenza pandemics, as well as experience with SARS, validate this.
Does WHO recommend screenings at country entry and exit points to detect if ill people are travelling?
     No. We do not believe entry and exit screenings would work to reduce the spread of this disease. However country-level measures to respond to a public health risk are the decision of national authorities, under the International Health Regulations 2005.
    Countries that adopt measures that significantly interfere with international traffic (e.g. delaying an airplane passenger for more than 24 hours, or refusing country entry or departure to a traveller) must provide WHO with the public health reasoning and evidence for their actions. WHO will follow up with all of its Member countries on such matters.
    Travellers should always be treated with dignity and respect for their human rights."

What Pac has been showing this past few days is that he does not need Malacanan. It is Malacanan that needs him. First, he creates his own party, which means he is not running under Lakas/Kampi. Then he did not thank the president profusely after his win unlike in the previous ones. Then he does not grant the request to delay his trip. What does Malacanan do? Cancel the lunch/reception on Friday. They maybe afraid of the flu and they show that they are really vengeful.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

HBO man tells Manny to pray at the corner

Just moments after knocking out Ricky Hatton, the jubilant Manny Pacquiao was being mobbed by his own corner men, when an HBO crew pointed him the corner. Manny caught the eye of the crew man and he proceeded to kneel and pray at the designated corner. The man is seen at the bottom right of the screen caps. Imagine, HBO reminds Manny to pray. It makes good, intense, compact drama. The short clip below captures the scene.

Meanwhile, Martin Nievera is still facing negative criticism over his version of the national anthem. His version is not only bad, but his haughty demeanor over the criticisms leaves him no sympathizers. Even the lawyers who defend his artisitc and constitutional rights maintain that the singing was in bad taste. Now it turns out that his ear piece was not even appropriate, the read and blue sides were wrong. What can we expect? Martin is half-American, so his version is half-right.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My recent awards ;)

Meanwhile, below are screencaps of the news telecast of my other award. In case you didn't catch it on TV, click on the photo or click here for a replay.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Aling Banang Pansit Halo-halo Tapsilog Atbp.

If you grew up in the heart of San Juan you must know Aling Banang's eatery. It started out as a carinderia in the old public market. They had a branch under the old mango tree beside Rizal's monument in what is now the parking lot/town plaza. Back in the '70's, before the fastfood chains, Aling Banang catered to the San Juan student population and the market goers. Its main menu consisted of noodles (all varieties - bihon, canton, palabok, mami, etc.) sprinkled with bits of crunchy lechon kawali; and the halo-halo. An interesting variation of their halo-halo is the halo-halo icecream, where instead of shaved ice, three scoops of homemade icecream are used. It is enough to give you sugar rush for a day. Of course, they also had regular and special halo-halo (halo-halo with icecream).

The core of its student base in the '70s and '80s have all now grown up but most still yearn for the crunchy lechon kawali bits. It is not actually the traditional lechon kawali since they use the pig's nape and not the belly. It is just as mouth watering and equally cholestrol laden, but what the heck. It is a gustatorial treat.

The original Aling Banang's has since moved out of the public market after the fire that gutted the whole of Agora. Many branches have sprouted all over San Juan. One was spotted in Quezon City in front of St. Luke's Hospital. Another one was reportedly seen in Cainta. Apparently Aling Banang's children/ grandchildren are operating the different branches. If you knew Aling Banang and her daughters, you will notice their chinny resemblance to those currently operating/manning the new stores.

The different branches still offer the same basic menu. They added tapsilogs and more to the list. The pricing seems to be uniform but the taste and food presentation varies. The best tasting fare still comes from the original store now located in a building just outside of the new public market.

Here are some photos of the Aling Banang stores within San Juan.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The difference between leader and manager

Abraham Zaleznik wrote in an article from the Harvard Business Review in 1977:
"The difference between managers and leaders, he wrote, lies in the conceptions they hold, deep in the psyches, of chaos and order. Managers embrace process, seek stability and control, and instinctively try to resolve problems quickly - sometimes before they fully understand a problem’s significance. Leaders, in contrast, tolerate chaos and lack of structure and are willing to delay closure in order to understand the issues more fully in this way, Zalenznik argued, business leaders have much more in common with artists, scientists and other creative thinkers than they do with managers. Organizations need both managers and leaders to succeed, but developing both requires a reduced focus on logic and strategic exercises in favour of an environment where creativity and imagination are permitted to flourish."

Warren Bennis, in his book "On Becoming a Leader", writes what he considers the differences between managers and leaders:

-The manager administers; the leader innovates.
-The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
-The manager maintains; the leader develops.
-The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
-The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
-The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.
-The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
-The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
-The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader has his or her eye on the horizon. The manager imitates; the leader originates.
-The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
-The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
-The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

I showed my friend an article on Bennis' book and we both agree that work involving developmental, creative processes need leaders; while work that go by set standard procedures require more management. My friend is now a bit enlightened though he still wonders how their management can steer their projects full steam ahead from their drifting position.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Management leadership

I have a friend who has resolved not to call the attention of his boss on anything because it always either meets inaction or worse he gets blamed for it. He thinks his bosses are too concerned with processes and control, (purposely or unwittingly) failing to provide project directions. That's why, my friend concludes, their projects never go far from the planning stages. To my mind, my friend's managers fail as a leader. Clearly there's a difference between leading and managing.

Gen. Colin Powell, in a leadership primer, said that "The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." Here's the primer.

Quotations from Chairman Powell: A Leadership Primer
1. Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.
2. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
3. Don't be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.
4. Don't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
5. Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
6. You don't know what you can get away with until you try.
7. Keep looking below surface appearances. Don't shrink from doing so (just) because you might not like what you find.
8. Organization doesn't really accomplish anything. Plans don't accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don't much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.
9. Organization charts and hence titles count for next to nothing.
10. Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
11. Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission.
12. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
13. Powell's Rules for Picking People" - Look for intelligence and judgment and, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done.
14. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
15. Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired." Part II: "Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.
16. The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
17. Have fun in your command. Don't always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you've earned it. Spend time with your families. Corollary: Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
18. Command is lonely.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Past my prime, six more years until my next prime

I'm now officially past my prime. I do not mean past the time of maturity when power and vigor are greatest or past the age of ideal physical perfection and intellectual vigor. I believe I'm still on the top of my game. Though I peaked a long time ago, my peak is a long wide plateau.

I mean I just turned to an age that is not a prime number. Curiously, my wife and two sons will be at their primes this year. I will be again in my prime in six years. Since there are an infinite number of primes, we will always get back to our prime no matter how we age.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacman gobbles up the Hitman

Manny Pacquiao's KO over Ricky Hatton is so quick that Pac's mother did not have time for her fainting spell. You see, Aling Dionisia usually have fainting spells over his son's bouts. Nauna pang mahimatay si Hitman. Another thing, Aling Dionisia have not finished praying the Rosary when the fight ended. It was that quick.
Martin Nievera's version of the National Anthem is too pretentious. Why can't he sing it as it was originally intended? Sir Tom Jones' simple rendition of God Save the Queen is simple yet classy, easily upstaging Martin's pa-artsy rendition. Martin's camp even had the gall to flash the logo of the National Historical Commission, implying that it has official blessing. The NHI blasted Martin's version and deplored the use of its logo. Kyla's version is still the best to date.
Manny Pacquiao suffered a bit of public outcry over his malintended plan to transfer to ABS-CBN2. But given the way GMA7 handled the telecast, the public wouldn't have minded at all. There were too many commercials. It looked as if viewers were watching a show of commercials, with the actual fight as the commercial. Even the introduction of the fighters was split so more commercials can be inserted. The fight lasted a just total of six minutes but the telecast lasted up to 3pm. Go figure how many commercials were there.
Manny is now introduced as coming from Saranggani. He cannot beat the Antoninos-Custodios in General Santos City so for political expediency he moved to his wife's hometown where he will run for congressman unopposed. Pretty wife, gifted athlete, unimaginable fortune, shoo-in for congress. Some guys have all the luck.
Pacman's last four fights were held in four different weight classes. Early last year, he earned a hard fought win over Juan Manuel Marquez at 130 lbs. In the middle of the year, he wrested David Diaz's lightweight (135 lbs) belt. Then late last year, he jumped to 147 lbs to retire Oscar dela Hoya. His KO win over the Hitman is fought at 140 lbs. Bob Arum, a Harvard-educated lawyer turned boxing promoter, lost no time in declaring Pacman as the greatest fighter ever. Self-fulfilling prophecy?