Bobo Ka…nga ba?

A couple of nights ago, despite the piled up school assignments, I was tempted to design a logo which I will post here on my blog until next year’s election is over. Like most people (I assume), the recent development in the political arena is quite something that should be of concern to us Filipinos.

Once again, we see a circus of events and a mix of personality that seems to make a mockery of our intellects or whatever is left out of it. Politicians are now more active than ever with a few more months before the May 2010 event. Unfotunately, their sudden activity doesn’t translate to any benefit to the majority but on the contrary, large sums of money, likely from the taxpayers, are once again circulating to benefit these self-serving individuals.

This logo with the Filipino phrase, Boboto Ka ba? (Are you voting?) is a sign of both my frustration with the political development and my commitment to vote wisely. And by posting it on my blog site, I hope to help instill informed decision-making and critical thinking. With this logo, I encourage everyone to…

not get suckered into believing that those mingling with the poor are immediately for the poor.

not get emotional and get carried away into picking one because he is related to someone we adored so much.

not blindly follow someone because he said was called by god to lead his people.

not get jiggy with political campaign jingles (or songs) because most likely it’s there to sugarcoat our tamang akala.

not believe when they say that the info ads were paid by friends (and if it were, these friends will likely get a favor in return).

Let’s take a look what they really can offer and if they can get that offer done in the end. Let’s be properly informed and then let’s decide who gets to take our country’s top seat.

Remember that after 2010, there will be another 6 more years. Let’s rub off the thought that we can just go back to EDSA again, hold hands, say a prayer, sing another mushy song, wear yellow or whatever color is IN and kick (figuratively or literally) whoever is in power and then do it all over again. Being an informed voter isn’t easy but at least let’s try our best to be one. O ano, BOBOto KA nga ba? Sana oo.

 

 

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (hope he’ll decide against it.) 

A hypocrite will save the environment…

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interesting exchange of argument coming from one of those who commented my Facebook note (linked from my blog site). My then FB friend digress from the main topic, Dead but not gone which is about Cory Aquino, and the discussion went from good to bad. It ended with me being implied as a hypocrite. Ouch.

It started when I said that I’m just hoping that confettis won’t be used during the funeral as consequently this symbol of honor, respect and even sympathy will end up as garbage on the streets and finally, will clog our already restricted, if not full, drainage system. Sadly, my concern about its effect to the environment was fully misinterpreted. If it was out of ignorance or just the then overflowing emotion about the late ex-president’s death, I don’t know.

Being called a hypocrite is unpleasant no doubt, but that discussion hit me like a loud wake up call. True, I do things that contribute to the environmental problem – drive a petrol-powered car, buy and consume non-organic food, wear synthetic clothing, uses cleaning solvents that may contain hazardous chemicals that contaminate our waters, etcetera. But do I have a choice? Like many others, the answer is most likely no. But can I do something about it? The answer is a big YES.

Im likewise bringing my mug to school (whenever possible) - save on Starbucks, save the planet.

I'm likewise bringing my mug to school (whenever possible) - save on Starbucks, save the planet.

Right now I swear to step up from what I’ve been doing already – garbage segregation even if I’m quite sure the garbage collectors pile them up the truck among other wastes; making sure that our car is in tip-top condition; minimize the use of electricity; conserve water; and other things according to the 3 R’s – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

 

Fix that leak with Fluidmasters fill valve replacement kit.

Fix that leak with Fluidmaster's fill valve replacement kit. Photo: http://www.fluidmaster.com

To walk the talk I started it last saturday when I brought along a sandwich to school without the plastic wrapper and foil, and instead placed it inside a Tupperware container which is reusable. And just today, I fixed a defective toilet fill valve even if it means I’d be spending out of budget, and to mention being sweaty and dirty during the whole installation (although it took me just 10 minutes to do it). So there goes. I’ve somehow gained something out of that FB argument and will try to see what more I can to do to save the environment…and avoid once again being tagged as a hypocrite. Ti abi.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (talked to 3 YM contacts…)

Dead but not gone

I was trying to make sense of what is happening right now with almost everyone glorifying Cory Aquino’s life. What I find sad about it all is it just doesn’t seem to sink in to me. No offense, but since then I just knew Cory as probably a good mother but a weak leader.

For the first time, yesterday while I was on my way to school I tuned in to an AM station (630) mainly to check on how the traffic is doing since I’ll be passing by somewhere near Manila. That time I already conditioned my mind that I’ll be in for a long drive so I was never in a hurry and readied myself to give the reason why I’m late in class – traffic.

Driving in moderate speed starting from Cavite, I was able to listen intently to the radio host say a lot of good things about Cory. And with her describing how people (students, employees) are getting out of their building just to meet the convoy that was carrying Cory’s coffin made me reflect what these people see in her that I don’t.

On TV, over radio, in the newspapers, on the streets and even on Twitter and facebook, the number of people pouring their support while she was still in the hospital and grief over her death says it all – they see Cory as very good person. She was so good that some people even called for her proclamation as a saint. Hmmm. But wether or not she deserves to be one, I now think that a multitude of people all over the nation and even abroad can’t be that wrong or just be influenced by the the media coverage (and social networking sites) to take this chance to wear or carry anything that’s yellow.

Now I guess, I just have to concede that I was wrong, disrespectful and insensitive. I just hope however that whatever inspirations and influences she had left to all these people who flocked the streets, braved the erratic rains and sun’s heat to see her for the last time won’t get buried along with her. And as I’ve mentioned on my recent blog, that hopefully this time we will sustain (can’t stress this word enough) the unity that most of us have once again shown and that we won’t put to waste the unselfish love, sacrifice and patriotism that both Cory and Ninoy have imparted to all of us. Both are now dead, but hopefully not gone. May they rest in peace.

***

 

Just barely a year ago, I wrote this a blog with this title: Heroes Wanted: Dead or Alive. It was my own tribute to the iamninoy.com campaign wherein I promised myself that this year I’ll make my vote count – on top of trying to be a good citizen of this country. Well, I already had myself registered for next year’s election. Next step (and the hardest) is to make an informed choice and not just rely on what is being shown on TV. As my professor in TSLEADER (he is by the way a loyal supporter and friend of the Aquinos and have stayed most of the time with Cory’s family during her last ordeal) have lectured before, what we actually need now in this country is adaptive change. According to him such change isn’t easy, but the way I see and understand it, it is the way to go if we want to move on for good. And so whoever can offer it, and show he’s sincere about it, he’ll get my vote.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks (killing time while waiting for my articles for editorial abstracting to be downloaded)

Sleepless pessimist

Can’t sleep.

Maybe it’s the mug of Peets coffee I had brought along with me in anticipation of a jam-packed road to Roxas Boulevard on my way to school.

Maybe it’s the another cup of brewed coffee I took in preparation for a long drive home.

Maybe, just maybe, because once again I find myself in a situation where the chances of me being called a fart-vent (for the lack of a better word) by most people nowadays is highly likely.

Or maybe, I’d just finish this glass of milk then put myself to sleep hoping that tomorrow, after August 5, a month after August 5 or better yet years after that, we will indeed be one and that we won’t just limit ourselves to bearing the ubiquitous color that can now be seen all over the place.

Let’s make their legacy prevail…and this time, let it be real.

 

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks! (sleepiness is finally coming)

An unlikely compliment

Remember the saying, “give credit to whom credit is due”? Well, this is what I’m doing right now. After weeks of preparing for this day and setting my mind that today I’d be needing extra patience because I’m going to deal with people inside the municipal hall to have myself registered as a voter for next year’s election, I was actually surprised how everything went unexpectedly fast.

Contrary to what I’ve heard from personal feedbacks and from the tri-media news, the registration process was a breeze. I was already readying myself to spend at least a half day inside the municipal hall when I got stuck in the verification (first step) because the personnel has to leave his table every time just to go to another floor where the computer is located. But no cursing of any form came from my side – I brought along a book to read in anticipation of a long day. But guess what? I was wrong. After the inefficient step one, the next steps went so smoothly that after I had my picture taken I asked the personnel twice if the registration is indeed over.

So despite the recent exposés (from news on TV) like overpriced voter’s ID lamination and registrations ending way ahead of time thus leaving registrants frustrated, this time I’m giving credit to the Comelec people (probably some are volunteers) of Dasmarinas, Cavite. Hopefully it will remain this way until the last day of the registration process. Of course, it will help a lot if soon-to-be voters will not wait for the very last day and cram themselves inside the municipal hall which for sure will have an impact to the efficiency of both the Comelec personnel and their usually frail computer system.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (had a nice afternoon with wifey and kid in the mall. met some ex-Intel folks as well)

Filipino cliches

“If you can’t beat them…make fun of them.” – me

 

Today I went to a nearby LTO office to have my motorcycle registered for the first time (it will turn just a year-old this August) and as usual I heard another not so surprising one-liner that it should have been made as this government office’s motto: “paumanhin sa lahat, meron lang tayong system slow down (our apologies but we have a system slow down).”

I’ve been hearing a lot of it for years since I started dealing (i.e., driver’s license, vehicle registration renewal) with them that such statement has become as predictable as sunrise (also a cliche). So instead of getting frustrated about the whole thing while standing still and staring blankly at the “efficiency” of LTO’s personnel, I tried to keep myself calm and composed and instead recall other amusing one-liners from different people. Here are some of them:

Sorry for the inconvenience” – DPWH, Maynilad, MWSS (usually seen on the same area but different time of the year due to poor planning and coordination)

P 1 – ihi, P 5 – dumi” – supposedly free public toilets.

Para sa kapakanan ng masa (for the poor people)” – Presidentiables and other politicians.

Paano yan sir?…” – Kotong cops after pulling over a motorist.

Mani, mani…mainit-init pa, bagong luto” – Peanut vendors (whose peanuts are obviously burnt after countless times of re-heat).

Nakainom ako, pero konti lang.” – Drunk drivers after a road mishap.

Hindi naman masagwa ang kuha.” – Wholesome-turned-sexy actresses justifying their adult magazine pictorials.

And the last but my all-time favorite:

Kumabyos ang preno, di umabot (brakes slipped, didn’t stopped on time)” – Public utility vehicle driver involved in a car crash.

How about you, any favorite one-liners? I’d love to read them.

***

I’ll be back this afternoon to claim my motorcycle registration renewal. I hope the LTO’s system is already up and running.

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

This car isn’t meant to be in the Philippines

(Picture originally uploaded by Trente-deux)
 
 

 

Late last night, while just several kilometers away from home and while cautiously avoiding a number of potholes that seem to appear out of nowhere (every night), I noticed a black car with its hazard lights on coming from my right side view mirror.

The sleek car has a low and wide profile and as it overtook me, I saw that it has this appealing 4 overlapping ring emblem – it was an Audi. Other than being fascinated at the rare sight of one lovely car, I was as well shaking my head (just as much as the bob head on my dashboard did) in disbelief while this Audi attacked the potholes and the uneven asphalt patches.

The Audi’s low profile, and probably the stiff sports suspension, made it act just like a stylus in a phonograph does – it went up and down, left and right as dictated by the bumpy and rough road. I don’t know if its driver cared less, but I was thinking that luxury cars such as this just aren’t meant for the Philippine roads…well, unless, he’s among those who are getting their car maintenance fees from the bottomless taxpayers’ fund. Hmmm.

***

Here’s another reason why an Audi, specifically the TT isn’t for the pinoy and more so to be talked about in Tagalog. Imagine hearing this conversation:

Pare ganda a, ang itim at ang kintab…pwede ba mahipo yan TT mo?
Sige pero wag masyadong diinan ha…bibigay ko yan sa girlfriend ko.

If you didn’t understand this conversation, good for you. If you did, fine. But if you did and you smiled…well, just call it an Audi next time.

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Rain: love and hate

 

Rain, rain go away. Come again another day,” goes one of the most recognized nursery rhymes. There’s just something about the rain that makes most people love and hate it at the same time. I for one is among those who share such mixed emotions every time the dark heavens open up.  

Here are some of the things I find annoying every time it rain cats and dogs (sorry, I can’t help not using the expression):

  • Bad drivers. Someone who has taken defensive driving lessons will know that continuing to drive with the hazard lights on is a no-no. Why? Because it doesn’t allow other drivers, especially someone driving right behind, to see when you’re signaling a turn – that is, if one even cared doing so. If one finds it necessary to turn on the hazard lights because he sees it dangerous to drive under the heavy rain, he must instead pull over the shoulder and remain there until he thinks the road if visible enough for him to continue.

  • Pretentious road improvement projects. One doesn’t need to listen/watch/read the news to know that the Philippines ranks high among other nations when it comes to corruption. All it takes is for one to go out during the rainy season, take either a public transport or his own car, observe the roads he/she pass by and presto, he’ll know that those road improvement projects that most of the politicians bragged about in summer are something they should be ashamed of come June when rain pours hard and seeps in the meringue-like asphalt pavement. It wouldn’t even take a couple of days of continuous rainfall to expose these potholes that as an immediate effect slows down traffic flow to almost a standstill.

  • Bad house construction shows. Just like our “well-paved” roads, the rain too exposes bad workmanships of self-declared carpenters and construction workers. In fact, someone gave me a tip before, that it is best to check for a prospective residential place during the rainy season because this is when house leaks become very obvious at the very least. Other things such as clogged village drainage and poorly waterproofed walls appear even under a novice’s eyes. Unfortunately for me, I heard about that tip years after we settled in our current house which is now leaking as if some adult with incontinence.

  • Diseases come out. This is what I hate the most about the rainy season because it’s not just colds and flu that becomes almost unavoidable but it is the risk of getting mosquito-borne disease like dengue that scares me the most, especially now that we got a baby boy to look out for. Come to think of it isn’t this part of the task that our good mayors and village officers should have taken cared of? Ti abi.

To be fair, the rain of course has its own appeal and good effect:

  • I’m sucker for movies of any genre with scenes where it rains except for cliché love scenes where lovers meet, hug and kiss as if being wet doesn’t matter doesn’t count – it’s so overused and needless to say, I hate it…well most of it, anyway;

  • Likewise, I love being inside the cinema watching a rainy scene while it is raining hard outside at the same time.

  • The rain is a perfect match for coffee whether it’s from a 3-in-1 sachet or a Starbucks brew, it doesn’t matter.

  • I don’t know if this is weird, but I love the sound of the rain hitting the steel roof top, more so if it doesn’t leak. I’m so amused by it that when a real estate agent once proudly mentioned that the concrete-tiled roof insulates the sound of the rain, I for a moment thought that it’s a turn-off rather than an appeal.

  • And how can I forget that the rain makes it great excuse just to snuggle together and enjoy the cooling effect of the heavy downpour. Hmmm. Got to hit the sack. Good night!

 

Photo credits: 

Albert – car splash

Marcelgermain – man with the colorful umbrella

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Thanking the pirates

 

If you’re thinking that I just turned coat because of the need to save and having no choice but to patronize illegal softwares, we’ll I’m not. It’s just that the feeling of being free and having so much time to kill got me into trying how to create a facebook quiz last night. Pathetic isn’t it?

What I find funny though is that this time I feel like making a quiz with pure Filipino words which I haven’t done since then. I rarely use tagalog because I feel I’d more prone to grammar errors than composing something in English. In fact I kept on asking my wife for the correct spelling of some of the Filipino words. So last night’s experiment was quite entertaining and somehow I was able to release my Bob Ong alter ego. Hahaha.

Unfortunately, the quiz didn’t run as I expected it to be. I don’t know if I missed it, but I saw several issues with facebook’s create quiz application. I tried looking for a button that would let me preview and test my own quiz first without having to publish it prematurely; I also wondered how I can put just two choices even if I have four outcomes; and as much as I’d like to keep and fine tune it first, sleepiness crept in and consequently, my judgment and perfectionism gave up – I shamelessly published the half-baked quiz with me being the only person enjoying the result…as if I don’t know it yet. Ti abi.

I’m not sure if I can resolve the problem with the application, but I’m sure that I’ll be asking a lot of newbie questions in the developers forum…and most likely, will later feel bad how stupid of me to miss such simple things. Anyway, before I forget (and receive hate emails for not doing so), I’d like to give credit to the following Flickr Creative Commons users who shared their nice photos which I used in the Anong klaseng pirata ka (What kind of pirate are you?) quiz:

Capn Madd Matt

Phoney Nickel/Tiffany

Deep Shot

Extra Medium/John Mueller

Orangegeek – I can’t find this user anymore but I’m quite sure I grabbed this pic from him but wasn’t able to use it immediately. So if you know this Flickr user, please try to inform him about this.

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Earth Day request from Greenpeace

“The optimism of action is better than the pessimism of the thought.” – Greenpeace activist

 

I admit I did not realize that today is Earth Day. I’ve been occupied with travelling from one place to another – I wish it was abroad – that I only learned about Earth Day just this morning over the radio on my way to work. I also don’t know if since when we have been celebrating Earth Day. I totally have no idea.

Anyway, as one self-declared environmentalist, this one email coming from Greenpeace.org prompt me to comply with their call to action.

Here’s an excerpt from this said email:

…Here at Greenpeace, we’re pushers of a controlled substance. It’s called hope…

…When we take action against environmental crimes, we also take action against despair. And there are times when inspiring other people to take action are by far the most powerful outcome that we could hope for…

…If you agree, we want you, and 2,999,999 people like you to sign up as climate activists. Together let’s act and protect our future…

The most important meeting of the century

When the UN Climate summit convenes in Copenhagen this December, delegates there will be deciding the fate of the Earth. It’s looking more and more likely they will bring us a lot of hot air, not a cooler planet.

YOU need to tell them that’s not good enough.

YOU need to raise the bar on the world’s expectations.

It’s time to get involved. It’s time to get your friends involved. It’s time to get your parents or your kids involved.

Our first mission is to get the message out that we want our leaders to take personal responsibility for stopping climate change.

The first step to ensuring that the climate summit makes real decision is to make sure that real decision makers are there.

This Earth Day, please join us in this conspiracy of hope called Greenpeace, and inspire others to action…

Chuck Baclagon
New Media Campaigner
Greenpeace Southeast Asia

 

Also included in this email is Greenpeace.org’s request for everyone to participate in the following actions:

  1. Demand key leaders go to the climate summit by signing the petition.
  2. Post the “Inspiring Action” video to our blogs, Facebook and other social networking sites.
  3. Donate.

Lastly, here’s the “Inspiring Action” video. Please spread.

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!