Friday, April 30, 2010

White hair chronicles XXVI - the age of hex and lotto

Pinoys have many ways to evade direct queries about their age. People pushing 30 say "nasa kalendaryo pa (it's still found in the calendar)". People older than 31 will say "nasa lotto pa (it's still in the lotto)". The age query will be followed up by "which lotto?". There are many lotto games in the gambling country that is the Philippines. The newest one, the Grand Lotto 6/55, gives many of my friends a reprieve, since they will soon be over the Super Lotto 6/49.

I used to tell people my age in hexadecimal terms. So back then when I say I'm 29, I conveniently omit to say that's in hex. Technically I didn't lie. People would tell me "maaga kang tinubuan ng puti (you had white hair early)". But I got away with it. I stopped using hex when 2A years old sounded like a ridiculous giveaway.

I can still say my age (in hex) is still in the calendar. Pretty soon I won't get away with it. But I can claim it's still in the lotto. Don't ask which. When I run out of lotto numbers, I will then say it's still in the Bingo. Ahh, but that's still a long time from now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vote for change

For government employees:

Do you want reforms at GSIS?
Do you want government scams to continue?
Do you want the corrupt to be prosecuted?
Do you want our political institutions to be saved?

Do you want change?

Vote for change!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who's afraid of a parallel count?

Who's afraid of a parallel count? While many sectors, including 6 of the 9 presidential candidates, propose a parallel manual count in the computerized elections, the Comelec say it is not necessary. The other 3 candidates (Villar, Teodoro, and Gordon) share Malacanan's stand for not favoring one. The 6 are afraid their votes won't be counted right by the machines.

Teodoro, being the official administration candidate, supports the administration stand. Dick is having a limp stand. Villar is being a gracious guest of the administration.

Why is it needed? A parallel run is one of the ways to change from an existing system to a new one, in this case from manual to computerized elections. A manual count will be used to compare the output of the computerized run and prove the reliability of the new system. Machines failed in the advanced voting and some security features are not fully implemented like UV markings. These factors merit the need for a parallel count.

Why we should not be afraid of a manual count? A manual count will just validate the results of the computerized count. The possible scenario of results from the two counts not matching is not reason enough to stop manual count. The two counts should match anyway. Discrepancies should be easy to explain, like shading less than 50% of the space.

Why are some officials so brazen in their attempts to rig procurement contracts? It is a game of follow the leader. Most probably they know something that make the higher-ups beholden to them, kaya malakas ang loob nila. The same way past officials got away too. Their mindset must be, bakit sila lang? They should soon change their official name to COMOLLECT.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Villar desperate for a Black Swan Event?

Manolo Quezon wrote yesterday about Cory's death being a Black Swan Event. A Black Swan Event is something no one expected, and that no one foresaw, and viewed as impossible. Cory's death, MLQ3 says led to our Great Awakening and the Great Remembering. Or shall we say re-awakening and re-remembering that still buoys Noynoy on top of the surveys.

Villar now thrusts her frail octogenarian mother crying to the public "stop picking on my son". Desperate move. Instead of answering squarely the latest accusation of his rivals, he acts like a bullied kid, makes sumbong to his mother and asks her to make the accusers stop. The melancholic paawa effect does not stop there. She nostalgically sang "Stardust" and ends up sobbing.

Politicking? No, if you ask them. But what if this is desperate move is more sinister than it appears? The 86 year old woman should have been insulated from the dirty world of politics. It's a give and take game. Spare the old woman the aches of hurtful campaigning. It now seems Villar's sisters are as desperate as he is, allowing their dear mom to be dragged into this.

Villar and company must be reminded that a Black Swan Event is not premeditated. Noynoy certainly did not want his mother dead so he can be president. I hope no one is that desperate.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Watch Glee Season 1 Episode 15 online - The Power of Madonna

Synopis: Mr. Schuester is concerned that the girls in the glee club are being disrespected and bullied by the guys. Looking to Madonna and her musical message of equality as inspiration, he challenges the entire team to choose Madonna songs as their next assignment in the hopes that the girls embrace her strength, independence and confidence and that the guys will see the error of their misogynistic ways. The glee club takes the assignment to heart as they perform some of Madonna's greatest hits, including "Express Yourself" and "Like A Prayer." Meanwhile, Kurt and Mercedes give Sue a vote of confidence with a makeover that is definitely in "Vogue"Source: FOX

Click on the image to open the video.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The people know GMA's color

This micromanaging government feigns innocence that it wanted the prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre to turn yellow and endorse Noynoy. Everyone knows it could happen without the approval of higher ups.

What I find more intriguing is the new colors worn by the other suspects. The suspects now wear yellow, as shown in the photo when they were escorted by jail officers to the hearing at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig yesterday.

Before, suspects were shown wearing other colors. Just last month, suspects in a drug case wore green when they were presented to media.

For a long time, suspects used to wear orange. The last photo shows PGMA and suspected terrorists who were presented to the media.

But no matter what color they try suspects to project, to a man, GMA's motives are suspect. We all know her true colors. After June 30, the people will make her wear the usual orange.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Watch Glee Season 1 Episode 14 - "Hello"

I like Glee. It has become one of my favorite shows, maybe because of how they seamlessly intertwine different songs into an episode's theme. The newest episode is titled "Hello". Fitting, perhaps, because of several month hiatus from the last episode. The songs in this episode have the word Hello somewhere in their titles: “Hello, I Love You” (The Doors), “Gives You Hell” (All American Rejects), “Hello” (Lionel Richie), “Hello, Again” (Neil Diamond), “Highway to Hell” (AC/DC), and “Hello, Goodbye” (The Beatles).

Episode summary: Finn and Rachel are finally a couple, but for how long? Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff), lead singer of Vocal Adrenaline, catches Rachel’s eye and sways her heart, but what are his real intentions? Looks like he and his coach (Idina Menzel) are up to no good. Will gets to kiss two women, but somehow ends up alone. Sue Sylvester is back as an even more conniving coach of the Cheerios. Quinn being out of the picture, Heather and Santana do her "dirty work". (Source: FOX)

Click on the image to open the video.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ampatuan endorses Villar

The prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre, Andal Ampatuan, Jr., is endorsing Manny Villar. Ampatuan wears orange-blue rubber baller ID bands of Villar and NP senatorial bet Gilbert Remulla. "Ito (shows baller bands) ang kandidato ko," Ampatuan Jr. told reporters during his transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

White hair chronicles XXV - Tales of the Mauban

On a whim, my office mates decided to go on an outing to Cagbalete, Mauban, Quezon. It was almost unplanned that it befits an entry to Facebook's "Mabuti pa ang biglaang lakad natutuloy; ang planado, hindi". Everyone's glad the trip pushed through. The fine, white sand compares with Boracay and Puerto Galera minus the gimiks. Cagbalete is the nearest of slice of heavenly calm and quiet to Manila. This white hair chronicler just tagged along with the group, leaving all the planning and details to the younger set. One of the benefits of white hairs.

From Mauban, Quezon, we hopped on a fishing boat that traveled around 45 minutes to the side of Cagbalete Island facing the Pacific Ocean. We had to transfer to a smaller boat that got us closer to shore. The shore had plenty of needle pine trees and a cacao species also abundant in Mindoro. There were long-legged birds on the shore that must nest deep inside the island. Aside from enjoying the beach, bird watching could be another enjoyable activity here.

We hopped back to the small boat after depositing our luggage at the MVT Sto. Nino resort. We were going to nearby Perez island for lunch. We passed by the Baliscar Island, a lonely uninhabited rock island that is said to be home to snakes and birds. Our boatmen said it is possible to venture and explore the barren island but the four inch jagged rock floor seem uninviting. Maybe next time when we bring rubber boots.

The sumptuous lunch at Perez island and the cool sea breeze lulled us to take a nap. When we got back to Cagbalete, it was almost sundown. The sun setting over the needle pine trees offers a grand view.

What I like best about Cagbalete is the peace and soothing calm it offers. Those seeking nightly beach parties have will be bored to death here. The island has electric service only from 6 pm to 6am. The resort have bare but adequate necessities. There are open huts and rooms. Best of all is you could just pitch a tent or hang a hammock and stargaze all night. Cheap thrills that white haired guys seek once in a while. There is not much corals nor tropical fish from where we stayed. I did not find Nemo here but ask me to come back and I'll tag along again.

The sunrise over the Pacific Ocean is majestic. This white hair chronicler now proudly admits he looks like a young Benjamin Button. In Perez island, folks imbibing the famous lambanog were over heard to say "Patagayin niyo yung matanda" (offer the old man a drink). And there was this very elderly 80-ish groundskeeper who asked him "wala pa ba yung sundo niyo, lulu?" (Is your boat here yet, grandpa?). I don't mind, though.

I really like this place. After all Mauban means white-haired.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

White hair chronicles XXIV

Two weeks ago, more than thirty years after my elementary graduation, I was invited to the recognition day of my beloved San Juan Elementary School, a public school. I was asked to speak before excellent kids from Grade 1 to Grade 6. When they were told the year of my graduation, a teacher was heard to remark he wasn't born yet at that time.

Indeed, it was a long time ago. I have gone full circle. I remember having received some of those awards myself. Anyway, I told them the usual blah-blahs. I told them that their time spent in those classrooms will serve them in good stead later in life. That being a long time San Juan residents, my father, my siblings and I all graduated from the school.

I also told them that my even if my batch went on to different schools, we all had an easy time not just because of the lessons learned but also because of the discipline acquired. I told them I had the chance to work abroad and I observed Filipinos to have the ability to adapt to any situation. We are also persevering - matiyaga. That is why there are many Filipinos able to find work everywhere. Those traits – perseverance, discipline, adaptability - I learned at SJES.

It was also a nostalgic trip for me. The gym where the program was held is the same grounds where we played running games. In hindsight, there are many things I failed to say to the kids and their parents. I would have wanted to tell them that the '70s were difficult times. It was a time when one man tried to stay in power forever. It was also Erap's first term as mayor. And his family has controlled San Juan politics since then. We are still in difficult times today. Today we still have one person who wants to stay in power forever. Times have not changed much.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's, is the joke on Gibo?

Gibo resigned as party chairman to protest against the lack of support from GMA. He is the 'official' candidate of the administration but he has not received the support he needs from the president. In February, he spent just P60 million on TV ads while Villar has splurged P120 million. GMA herself has put on more pasasalamat posters around Metro Manila

The Inquirer today put up a story on the breakup of the Arroyo party. It may later retract the story and claim it's an April Fool prank. But the signs are there -  the defections, the lack of funds, and then Gibo's resignation.

The breakup came after a survey confirmed the slide of Villar in voters' preference. Noynoy now has a commanding 9pt lead. The momentum is starting to build up again. In no time at all, the lead could go up that cheating will be very hard. Perhaps in panic, the administration decided to consolidate its support to a single candidate resulting to defections to its not so secret candidate. Still in denial, the galing at talino but dense candidate still doesn't get it. The joke is on Gibo.