Saturday, September 29, 2007

What's New Today - September 29, 2007

It's been quite a while since our blogsite was last updated. That was after the verdict on Erap's plunder case was handed down. Now the anomalous NBN transaction has overshadowed news on Erap. Although, there were no posts in this blogsite, we had a lot of discussions in our egroup on the NBN and the various anomalies under GMA and Erap and the seeming hopelessness of the Filipino people in effecting change. Danny has been very passionate about his views. Marynat has also joined the discussions and agrees with him for the most part. No one will probably dispute the fact that far from reducing the level of corruption, it has risen to greater proportion under the PGMA administration. How and when can we put a stop to this is a big question. But each one of us has a role to play. We hope that aside from Danny and Marynat, the others can also share their views.

Minsan, masyadong mainit si Danny. O Danny, cool ka lang ha! dai ka mag-arog sa retrato.

Nakasimangot ka na lang palagi.....

Parang ikaw lang ang nagmamay-ari ng lahat ng sama ng loob.

Mukha mo ay hindi maipinta, e sumasayad na ang nguso mo, sa lupa!!!

O, marhay man ta napangirit kamo!

There is also a music video that I am posting. There's not much time to look for pictures, so they may not be the best, but I just wanted you to listen to Gary Granada's song - HOLDAP!
Just to tease your mind and make you laugh again:
Why is 3.70 = 13.20?
Ano ang tawag sa paniking mababa ang lipad?
three seventy = trece bente

Read More...... Read more!


Please visit the following to listen to the music

By Gary Granada

Minsan ako ay nag-agahan
Doon sa bandang Nagtahan
Nang mayrong nagkagulo sa isang tambayan
At ang usap-usapan
Ay tungkol sa isang holdapan
Sa isang pampasaherong sasakyan

Nang aking nilapitan
Tamang-tamang naabutan
Ang isa sa biktimang nagsalaysay
At ang bukambibig
Niyaong mamang nanginginig
Salamat daw at siya’y naiwan pang buhay.

Nanakawan na at naholdap si Juan
Nguni’t ang holdaper pa ang pinasalamatan
Nabaon sa utang ang bayan ni Juan
Nguni’t ang nagnakaw pa ang pinararangalan

Isang kinsenang kayod
Ang pinagpawisang sahod
Ay nahulog sa kamay ng magnanakaw
Pati yung estudyante at aleng mukhang pasyente
At lolang halos di makagalaw

Relo, singsing at hikaw
Pati ngiping natutunaw
Sinimot noong disenteng lalake
Mabuti na lang daw at mabait iyong mamaw
Sila’y inabutan pa ng pamasahe.

Nanakawan na at naholdap si Juan
Nguni’t ang holdaper pa ang pinasalamatan
Nabaon sa utang ang bayan ni Juan
Nguni’t ang nagnakaw pa ang pinararangalan

Nguni’t minsa’y namukhaan
Nitong kawawang si Juan
Ang holdaper kanya palang kapitbahay
Malimit mag-abuloy ng abubot at burloloy
Sa tuwing may okasyong pambaranggay

Siya ay kwelang kwela
Sa simbahan at eskwela
Bida kay bishop, kay judge, at kay kapitan
Taun-taon pati ay may medalya at plake
Ang magiting at dakilang kawatan

Nanakawan na at naholdap si Juan
Nguni’t ang holdaper pa ang pinasalamatan
Nabaon sa utang ang bayan ni Juan
Nguni’t ang nagnakaw pa ang nasa PAMAHALAAN!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Full Text of the Sandiganbayan Decision on Erap's cases

For those interested to read the full text of the decisions on the plunder and perjury cases, visit the following:

Criminal Case No 26905 - People of the Philippines vs Joseph Ejercito Estrada for Perjury

Criminal Case No. 26558 - People of the Philippines vs Joseph Ejercito Estrada et al for Plunder - pages 1 - 131

pages 132 - 263

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Erap Guilty of Plunder


The Sandiganbayan headed by Justice Teresita de Castro handed down its decision finding Erap guilty of plunder and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua (equivalent to 40 years according to the lawyers.), but acquitted him for the perjury charges. The two other accused, Jinggoy Estrada and Atty. Serapio were acquitted.

The accused through their lawyer, Atty. Flamiano requested the reading only of the dispositive portion. Thus, the whole proceeding lasted only a short while.

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Yesterday was 9/11 anniversary but everything was normal when I traveled from Cebu back to Manila. It’s now Sept 12. In a few minutes, judgment on the Erap plunder case will be handed down. (He has already arrived in the Sandiganbayan compound.) This is a very historic event and everyone is awaiting for the verdict. The Supreme Court has already allowed the live telecast but the camera will focus only on the reader of the Sandiganbayan decision.

Whether Malacanang is being paranoid or there’s a real threat to its security should the decision be adverse to Erap, the fact is it will be deploying 6,000 police and military troops and 5 APCs around Metro Manila concentrating in the vicinity of the court, Malacanang and the probable rally sites. Malacanang is now heavily guarded with container vans placed on the streets leading to the gates. Along the Pasig River, naval patrol boats keep watch.

Personally, I believe Erap is guilty - of manipulating the stock market in his favor, of using the tobacco excise tax (but Chavit Singson is equally guilty and should in fact be in prison with him), of profiting from jueteng operations, of using his power to benefit friends and relatives (contrary to his inaugural speech – WALANG KAMAG-ANAK, WALANG KAIBIGAN who will be unduly favored), and of practicing a work ethic completely opposed to what a President should be – holding drinking/gambling sessions with his midnight cabinet until the wee hours of the morning such that no official functions requiring his presence could be held before lunch time the next day and publicly admitting to an adulterous life, and being proud of it.

Should he then be punished? I’m not sure whether the 6 years in confinement are already sufficient. What is certain is that more people are now sympathetic to him, not really because of any good thing that he did while in detention but because of what Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been doing since she assumed office. The massive corruption that is happening under Gloria’s watch makes Erap’s sins ‘venial’ compared to GMA’s ‘mortal sins’. Having taken over from an administration that was ousted due to corruption, Gloria turned out to be worse. I agree with Conrad de Quiroz’s opinion in his Inquirer column that the issue is not about setting Erap free but of putting Gloria to jail.

The $329Million ZTE broadband deal is the latest. What is revolting is the cover-up and denials that insult our intelligence. The contract was signed in April by the Secretary of Transport and Communication Leandro Mendoza (ex military man) with Madam as witness (Gloria even had to leave the bedside of the First Gentleman Mike who had a major heart surgery at the St. Luke’s Hospital to go to China). When questions about the contract were raised, a Transport/Comm official claimed that the Philippine copy of the signed contract was “LOST” in the hotel on the same day it was signed. Talks about the overpricing and kickbacks started heating up, and Malacanang officials issued statements defending the deal. The Justice Secretary (whose remarks are always abhorrent every time he opens his mouth) said that the contract was valid (how could he have examined it if the copy was lost!). Sergio Apostol, the President’s legal counsel said that technically there was no contract to speak of – if it was lost, then there was no contract to review, Peter Favila, the Secretary of Trade claims that only a Memo of Agreement, not a contract was signed. Mendoza (the signatory) says there’s nothing irregular with it.

Then an opposition congressman revealed that the Comelec Chairman Abalos brokered the deal. For this, he was allegedly bribed, wined, dined, ‘golfed’ and ‘sexed’. Abalos admits to being friends of the ZTE officials – but finds nothing wrong with being their golf buddies? What’s wrong with playing golf during an all-expenses paid trip to China at the time that he should be busy attending to the May elections? – he also hosts and spends money entertaining these Chinese when they play golf here in the Philippines? (Isn’t he aware of the Code of Conduct for government officials and employees?).

Finance Secretary Teves admitted to the media that indeed Abalos introduced him to the ZTE officials and they talked about the contract. Romulo Neri, the former head of the National Economic and Development Authority, which reviews and approves proposed projects hinted that there was an attempt to bribe him P200M. The media also exposed that there’s no Detailed Engineering design, no bill of materials so the basis for setting the amount of the contract is a mystery. Details of the contract are not being revealed yet it will be funded by a loan from China that will be paid for by the Filipino people.

Secretary of Budget and Management says that the contract has not been perfected. Presidential Legal counsel Apostol now puts the blame on Mendoza and asks the media to direct questions about the contract to him. GMA in an interview in Australia said that she has asked her cabinet to review the agreement and to give her recommendations. The Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the transaction yesterday. Senate will open its investigation on Friday. For resolution by the Supreme Court is the case filed requiring the government to provide the losing competitor a copy of the contract.

Ang gulo ano? Is there or isn’t there a contract? Obviously there is. Can it be rescinded by the Phil. Government unilaterally? This is doubtful. Was the copy of the contract really lost? Tell it to the marines!

CANCEL THE CONTRACT AND PUNISH THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS ANOMALOUS DEAL! And what about GMA, is she is innocent, doesn’t she know the details of what she signed as witness in April? F_ _ _! She should give Erap company!

Postscript: This NBN contract is only the first of several contracts with China. Next is the US$400M + Cyber Education Program supposedly signed also in April and whose copy of contract is also allegedly lost.

It is not absolute power that corrupts but the fear of losing power! (according to Ed de la Torre).

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Should Marynat, Alot and Tess regret working here in the Philippines instead of in the US?

An article in the Philippine Star cited a study of the International Labor Organization (ILO) which showed that the ratio of women to men in executive jobs in the Philippines is the highest in the world at about 58%. Barbados follows with 43.4% and then the US with 42.3%. An earlier international survey of 32 countries by the Grant Thornton International Business Record showed similar findings.

The Department of Labor and Employment reported that the number of women in senior positions rose from 2.162 million in 2004 to 2.257 million in 2006. The number of men in similar jobs increased to only 1.629 million from 1.613 million in the same period. I thought all the while that there is discrimination against women in the work place. It seems this isn’t true. Even if we look at the education statistics now, there are more women graduating from college.

A chief executive officer of Land-Excel Consulting, a Manila real estate firm and a professor of the Asian Institute of Management said that “Women are better managers of people. They are also more hard-working”. Do you agree Danny and Bert?

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Pupils outside Metro Manila fared better in National Achievement Test

Only one student from Metro Manila (Taguig Elementary School) made it to the top 20 of the NAT administered by the Department of Education last March. Topnotcher was a Grade 6 pupil from Eastern Samar. Other topnotchers came from Cavite, Leyte, Butuan City and Biliran (what about Bicol?).

The Department of Education Bureau of Elementary Education director Yolando Quijano said that students in public schools in the provinces fared better than those in Metro Manila because they were less distracted.

My own take on this is that there is bigger shortage of classrooms in urban centers (especially Metro Manila) resulting in several shifts using the same classroom and therefore, shorter class hours.

(Source: Philippine Star)

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Toilet Humor

Old lady goes to Dr: “I have a problem with gas, but it really doesn’t bother me too much. The farts never smell and they're always silent. As a matter of fact, I’ve fart at least 20 times since I’ve been here and I bet you didn’t even notice.”

Dr: I see take these pills and come back next week.

Lady goes back, “Dr. I don’t know what the hell you gave me but now my farts, although still silent – stink terrible.”

Dr. very good! Now that we’ve cleared up your sinuses, let’s work on your hearing!

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Pictures of the Beautiful Mayon Volcano

I'm sharing with you pictures of Mayon Volcano which remains beautiful even after last year's typhoon and floods. I downloaded them from skyscraper's website posted by dxpsycho and other photographers.
For the complete set of pictures, visit

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

What's New Today - September 8, 2007

Everyone seems to be very busy these days. As Bert noted, there's a lull in our e-group - "parang may dumaang anghel daw." Even Marynat who became very active several weeks ago, is back to being a passive reader for the most part (she did send comments on two posts). It's Tess who has been regularly sending her one-liners.

I too am very busy. So I'm just sharing the article written by the Inquirer columnist, Ma. Ceres Doyo about Mother Teresa, whose 10th death anniversary we observed the other day. (She died a week after Princess Di died on a car crash - on August 31. Daming historical events pala on that day - also the Birthday of Ramon Magsaysay and Cardinal Sin, aside from Annabelle's and my birthday of course!). Mother Teresa's book, "Come Be My Light", is surely a very interesting reading, we should grab a copy when we have the time. Right now, I'm reading an old book - Man's Search for Meaning written by Viktor E. Frankl, an internationally renowned psychiatrist who endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi concentration camps. It's been a week now but I haven't finished reading it - I only read it while inside the railway transit on the way to and back from the office. Read it, if you have the time.

Current news here in the Philippines are depressing/revolting - the scandal-ridden US$328M National Broadband Network contract with the Chinese firm, ZTE (ang kapal talaga; garapal ang mga taga-gobyernong involved dito including COMELEC Chair Abalos and Transport & Communications Secretary Mendoza). Everything contrary to good governance must be happening here - absence of transparency (no copy of the contract has been made public yet this is a loan to be paid for by every Filipino), corruption, and lack of accountability.

Then there's the re-opening at the Senate of the Hello Garci scandal, the death by hazing of a UP student, the war in Sulu and Basilan, the early campaign for Presidency by the ambitious Mar Roxas (pati Joey de Leon-Willie Revillame controversy papatulan in the guise of protecting the public from unscrupulous game shows, buti hindi pina-iimbistigahan ng Senado o Kongreso ang paglipat ni Angel Locsin sa Dos!).

So, other than Ceres's article, I'm posting video clips of songs by:

* Yoyoy Villame - Geography
* Gary Valenciano's Babalik Ka Rin
* Lea Salonga and Rob Chen's wedding with Lea singing "Ikaw"
* Sharon and KC Concepcion duet

Hope you enjoy them.

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In the dying light in a pauper’s eyes


In the dying light in a pauper’s eyes
By Ma. Ceres P. DoyoInquirer
Last updated 00:49am (Mla time) 09/06/2007
MANILA, Philippines --

The absent one. This was how Mother Teresa referred to that absence that she felt in her life during her 50-year dark night of the soul.

Where was the beloved, the one for whom she poured out the substance of her life, the one supposed to give meaning and purpose to her selfless daring to love the world’s most abandoned?

Mother Teresa’s own revelations, kept and hidden even after her death 10 years ago, and made public just recently in a book (“Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light” edited by Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk), are now the subject of scrutiny and speculation, even of awe. It is Time magazine’s cover story this week.

But this happens to those who tread that mystical twilight zone reserved for the highly spiritually evolved among us. It is a price they have to pay. They have been privileged to experience the divine so intensely and intimately. And when the peak experiences that have led these chosen ones to do daring acts of love, when the ecstasy and consolation are withdrawn, when from lush orchards they are led to deserts, barren and desolate, there is no balm for the pain. Worse, there can be neither feeling nor non-feeling. Just a yawning absence.

But what made Mother Teresa’s dark night so different from that of other known mystics was that it went on for a long stretch of 50 years. And despite this trial, she held on to what she believed she must do -- to love what the world deemed unlovable -- even while she herself was going through a seemingly “loveless” existence.

“Where is my faith -- even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness and darkness. My God, how painful is this unknown pain…”

Hers was blind faith in its truest form, faith threatened but, ah, roaring with a fury. She pushed on, making the world believe what must be believed -- that God loves unceasingly and so must we -- and put aside how her own soul felt. She never expressed her doubts openly, except to her spiritual guides.

Was she lying then when she constantly spoke to the world about that great love that quenched her and sustained her work? Was she lying when she inspired others to seek that love and respond to it, and also spend their lives like she did?

Indeed, countless others have followed Mother Teresa’s path to those who are hidden and hideous to the world’s eyes. The thousands who, over the years, have joined or worked with the Missionaries of Charity (the congregation she founded in 1948) are proof that the divine love that she missed was not absent. It was at work.

Heroic indeed are those who do acts of sacrificial love even when love -- the feeling -- has hidden beneath the ruins. That is the real test. Mother Teresa surpassed the test. She was like an athlete who made it first to the finish line despite injuries and doubts.

It is with some guilt that I go over the words she wrote me many years ago. She responded to my scathing letter (in which I enclosed a biting statement from a Filipino religious) about how she “held hands with the dictator Marcos.” It was the late 1970s, the Philippines was under martial rule and I did not like the way the dictatorship feasted on her presence and made her the face of compassion, how she allowed herself to be used. I was an admirer of that “something beautiful for God” that she was doing and that was precisely why I wrote her. I was disappointed and angry when she came and was swept into the arms of the conjugal dictatorship.

I was young, impetuous. I mailed my letter in India and I received her response while I was still there. From Calcutta, she sent me a stinging handwritten response. It was not short and sweet. Here is a paragraph: “I had not gone to your country to discuss politics, not to preach justice, but just to serve: to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give home to the homeless -- that is all. To be able to do this, ours is a life of prayer and action and so we proclaim Christ to the poor… It is easy for you to preach the theology of Liberation and Justice with full stomach and well rested bodies, but our people in Binondo and other places around the world have to suffer the pain of hunger plus the discontent you have created in their lives. For me this is the greatest injustice done to the Poor….” And more.

I did write about that exchange (“Mother Teresa’s strong letter to me,” Sept. 11, 1997) shortly after she died.

All those years, she was painfully and secretly seeking her God. In the vastness of all the hiding places, in the immensity of a million faces, in the dying light in a pauper’s eyes.
I am sure, in death, she found the Absent One at last. This God who had walked her across sandstorms and rainstorms, across fields turned white by lightning, this God who had walked her to the edge and bade her to cross alone. And then was gone.

In death, she arrived at last and realized The Absent One had been waiting.

* * *

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More Pictures from LA

Bert finally posted more pictures of the LA Reunion, as well as his and Marie's visit to Hollywood with Bruce and other relatives.

We still haven't met ever since he came back. I guess everyone's busy these days but I'm sure we'll find the time soon to get together to make initial discussions regarding the February 2008 Grand Reunion (maybe bigger than the 40th?. We'll surely use the webcam that the US group sent so we can finally Skype!

I'm writing a report which has a Sept 12 deadline. I'm also going to Cebu on Monday and Tuesday (Sept 10 & 11). Maybe we can meet sometime after Sept 12, and hopefully Ed C. will be here. Would that be okay Alot, Marynat, Rori, Bert, Tess, and Ed?

For the complete set of pictures of the LA Reunion, visit

and for pictures of Bert and Marie's trip to Hollywood, see

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Give the World the Best You Have

I came across these proverbs in the internet a few years ago when I was still in the Department of Agrarian Reform assigned in Camarines Sur. They were attributed to Mother Theresa. I had this printed and a copy posted in our Bulletin Board.

Yesterday, when I read Ed de la Torre’s blog, I found out that they were not actually written by Mother Theresa but by Kent K. Keith, a college student leader in the USA in 1968. They were called the Paradoxical Commandments. The reason why others thought they were the original thoughts of Mother Theresa was because when she died, these commandments, minus one, were found written on the wall of her room.

Ed wrote that the commandments reflect the idealistic spirit of the late 60s. They are a guide to an “inner-driven” life that does not depend on other people’s reaction or even world approval.

I have difficulty practising several of these commandments. I hope I'll have the determination to continue trying. How about you?

Here are the paradoxical commandments:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Ed made a contemporary translation in Filipino, which captures both the original youthful spirit and its affirmation 40 years later. I love his translation. Here it is.

Sige pa rin.Kahit mahirap ispelingin

Karamihang tao ay mahirap ispelingin at sarili lang ang pansin
Sige, mahalin mo pa rin.

Kung may mabuti kang magawa, pupupugin ka ng intriga
Sige, gawin mo pa rin.

Kasunod ng tagumpay ay mga plastik na kaibigan at seryosong kaaway
Sige, magtagumpay ka pa rin

Anumang gawin mo ngayong kabutihan, bukas ay malilimutan
Sige, gawin mo pa rin.

Ang taong totoo at tapat, ay malimit mapahamak
Sige, magpakatotoo ka pa rin.

Ang malawak at malalim mag-isip at mangarap ay kayang bakbakin ng mga makitid at mababaw
Sige, largahan mo pa rin.

Panig ang marami sa maliliit at dehado, pero ang susundan nila ay ang malaki at llamado
Sige, laban pa rin.

Ang pinaghirapang itayo nang matagal ay pwedeng ibagsak nang biglaan
Sige, itayo mo pa rin.

Ang kailangan ng tulong, naiilang sa handang tumulong
Sige, tumulong ka pa rin.

Ibuhos mo sa mundo ang kaya mong lubos at ang matatanggap mo ay maraming hambalos
Sige, lubusin mo pa rin.

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Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday