Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pres. Marcos, Martial Law and Aquinos

To this date, there are many that believe Pres. Marcos is still the best president the Philippines ever had.  There are still many of us who saw how the Writ of Habeas Corpuz was suspended that eventually turned into Martial Law.  We were then into our second year in college when it happened or was declared.  Many of us were sporting long hair and were scared to go out of our house because the military was after long haired men.  If we were caught, our hairs would be cut and forced to go to a barber to make a clean haircut.

Those were the first abuses of the military and it was the Philippine Constabulary (PC) headed by then Gen. Fidel V. Ramos.  Their reason for doing that is because long haired men are suspected to be Kabataang Makabayan (KM), a leftist arm composed of the youth.  Maybe we can let go of their stupid suspicion.

Pres. Marcos trusted men during martial law were Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Juan Ponce Enrile and Gen. Fabian Ver.  Among his cronies then were Eduardo Cojuangco, Roberto Benedicto, Jose Campos and some other prominent people who made a fortune during the martial law years.

Of his trusted men, FVR and Enrile were responsible for his overthrow.  The truth behind it will never be known because Marcos is now dead.  There were rumors that the two went against Marcos because they were going to be exposed to have abused martial law.  They went against Marcos claiming the snap elections was rigged and Marcos cheated.  Filipinos then were bent to believe them because they were the trusted lieutenants of Marcos.  Anything Marcos had on them as abusers of martial law would not matter anymore.

After the EDSA revolution, no one bothered on investigating the roles of FVR and Enrile during the martial law years as they were perceived to be the heroes of the overthrow!  Corazon C. Aquino did not bother too as they were instrumental in installing her as the rightful president.  Cory also just settled that the assassination of Ninoy was as what the Agrava board determined.  Her son, B.S. Aquino Jr. who became president did not bother finding out the truth on his father's assassination!  Would a relative be a mastermind?

Anyway, a number of those who experienced the grave abuses of martial law might no longer be around.

For the burial in the Libingan ng mga bayani (LNMB), Ninoy Aquino does not deserve it!  What did he do for the country?  There are evidence that he was linked to the CPP-NPA in destabilizing the country!  As for Marcos, he may not be a hero but he deserves to be buried there as a former president of the Philippines.

Monday, July 25, 2016

DU30 SONA 2016

For someone like me who has seen and heard State of the Nation Address of several Presidents before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte - DU30, this is the first one that did not refer to statistics.  The SONA 2016 of DU30 trully stated the what the nation, the Philippines, is really in.  He emphasized on what needs to be done and how it should be done. The main problems of the country on illegal drugs, criminality and corruption was clearly stated on why the country could not move on.

DU30 did not point a finger or put blame of past administrations.  He simply stated that the issues were not properly addressed making the country suffer more.  The most important part of his SONA was being able to see what exactly was happening with people applying for passports and the anguishing fishermen at Laguna de Bay.  That simply shows that he knows and recognizes the plight of the ordinary Filipino.  

The point of his SONA is what the Philippines is, how it is now and what needs to be done to move on.  He was clear on issues regarding appointment to the cabinet.  What is important to him is that the line of thinking of people working with him is the same as his.  It was a wonder why Peter Cayetano was not there.  Lilia de Lima was good not to be there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Duterte against Drugs, Criminality and Corruption

Since the start of President Rodrigo R. Duterte's campaign, he emphasized on being against drugs, criminality and corruption.  All those are interconnected because drug peddling is a crime and is one main cause of corruption because politicians and police protect the drug lords.  Surely, politicians that protect drug lords got their funding from them.  That is an assurance the drug lords will continue to enjoy their protection IF they win the elections in 2016.

Not for long DU30 started to climb as the favorite candidate for president.  He was considered rude and swore in many instances to emphasize his desire to give Filipinos a better and safer life.  Naysayers and the elite criticized him for that and said he did not deserve to be president of the Philippines.  However, with all that, he became more popular as he was speaking his mind and is down-to-earth.  No fakes.

When criminals like drug lords and their protectors sensed that he was the favorite, they started eliminating people who would point to them.  The guilty did not pull the triggers.  It was a simple as identifying the 'small fish' and ordered their men to eliminate them.  Whoever pulled the trigger did not have any idea because they believed the orders came from their officers, not knowing they were covering their tracks.  How else would those small fry have ended that way if not someone on top knew them?

Duterte did not instruct them to kill those people before he took oath as president.  How could he?  Pnoy was still the president until 12 p.m. of June 30, 2016.  He was still responsible for all those murders and salvaging, whichever it will be.  In short, his pronouncements triggered a spate of killings to cover the tracks of the guilty ones.  Maybe drug lords started eliminating their runners or pushers.  Who, then, told the drug lords to do that?  Simple logic, right?  Their protectors who did not want any strings attached!

The strategic mind of DU30 made things happen even before his 'watch'.  Guilty panicking idiots started reacting even before he took his oath.  The 3 to 6 months Duterte stated to curb illegal drugs, criminality and corruption does not include the months before he took office.  He knew guilty people will be killing each other to cover their tracks even before his term starts.  The guilty panicked and tried to eliminate those who would point to them either as drug lords or protectors.

In the past

The past administration had arrests and raids of big drug 'syndicates'.  It is highly possible and probable that those arrests and raids were to protect drug lords under their wings.  There were no cases known to put those guilty in their proper place.  It could have been easily manipulated to tell those caught to re-direct their 'goods' to the protected drug lords to centralize operations.  With that, everyone gets a 'fair' share of the loot and those caught will have no problem.  They can easily escape and go back to their country of origin.

The country's problem has been handed from earlier politicians down to the recent past administration.  They have spent huge amounts for campaigns that could have been funded by drug lords.  It was simply funneled to those who donated who also got a fair share percentage of the donation.  It does not take complicated math or accounting to do that.

Here's a simple example:  Winners of a huge amount in Lotto or Sweepstakes do not necessarily have to claim from PCSO.  All they need to do is approach moneyed people and sell their winning combination less ten (10) percent or something like that.  That saves the moneyed people from heavy tax (CPAs can tweak it) because they can claim to have won lotto and make campaign donations!  The lotto winner does not care at all as long as the money is their less a little amount.

The present

Currently, the administration is flushing out the evils of government.  This is a clear indication of closing the gap between the "haves and have-not".  President Duterte surely knows where evils in government exist.  For appointing Arnel Ignacio as AVP in PAGCOR, it is with great hope that he finds out how military or PNP people make money as lenders.  They can easily be in cahoots with the bank for casinos.  They prey on gambling addicts.

The Philippines is regionalized and Pres. Duterte might only be able to regulate his appointees or trusted men as what Marcos did.  The mistake of Marcos of trusting people in high positions and abusive military men caused his fall.  One example is, why did the military go after long-haired males?  Most of long-haired males were just for the fad and not subversives!  That is probably one thing that BBM has to justify.

What is the future?

The future does not mean anything to people like me who are in their twilight years.  What matters is what is in the future for our children, grandchildren and succeeding generations.  Duterte is the best change for the Philippines.  No predictions or speculations on what the future will be, but what has shown in the past few days of DU30's administration, the future looks bright.  Hopefully his trusted people in government will not make the same abuses as those that Ferdinand Marcos has trusted.

Was he right about Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos?  Tell me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2016 Elections

The May 9, 2016 Philippine elections is over but issues regarding cheating has not ended.  Towards the end of June 2016, electoral protests will be filed by some losing candidates.  The most controversial is the VP position that many considered to have been rigged by Smartmatic's intervention in changing the hash code. There are also allegations that election results from some provinces were tampered with.

President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte (DU30) has clearly won the presidential race by around 6 million over the 2nd placer.  His win shows that those who voted for him wanted to see real change in government. Presidents before him had nothing much to show in improving the countries situation.  The last administration shows that the country was made as Shabu capital of the world.  In fact, the world's largest maximum security prison, the New Bilibid Penitentiary (NBP) manufactures Shabu!

With the incoming President of the Philippines much is expected from him, his cabinet and PNP Chief to rid the government of corruption.  Quite surely he and the PNP chief will be able to cut down drug pushing, drug lords and criminality to manageable levels.  The recent spate of arrests and killings of drug lords is definitely a move by people to eliminate them so they will live to talk to point their protectors.  President Duterte does not have a hand on the killings as he is still to take oath on June 30, 2016.

The current administration still calls the shots when it comes to peace and order until their last day in office.  Authorities that conducted the recent raids on drug lords would not even say why they only conducting these operations only now.  They could have done this months if not years ago.

Can this be related to an alleged plot to assassinate the Philippine president and his PNP chief?  There is a denial from 16 NBP inmates from Bldg. 14.  But there are more inmates and other buildings.  How good is the manifesto signed by them?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baguio Road Rehabilitation

Many of us employees and Baguio car owners are experiencing too much traffic and vehicle congestion.    This is due mostly to rehabilitation of roads that are causing so much trouble due to their condition and accommodation.  Yes, it is a pain to go through traffic unlike it was before.  Longer routes mean more fuel consumption for most motorists.

Looking on the longer run, this might just help ease traffic in the future, especially for students and the working mass.  Road widening is most of what is happening.  Widened roads will mean nothing if drivers are not disciplined or if traffic enforcers will not see to it that the law is followed.

In this sense, it should come both from drivers and law enforcers to make this a reality.  If you love Baguio City as much as we do, please follow city ordinances and traffic rules to avoid misunderstanding.  PLEASE GIVE WAY TO VEHICLES GOING UPHILL WHEN IN BAGUIO CITY.  Thank you.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Driving in Baguio City

Many of those who come to Baguio City driving their own vehicles are not aware of the courtesies while in the city.  They drive around as if they were still in the lowlands.  They do not know how to give way to uphill moving vehicles when they are  going downhill.  That is the reason why they sometimes have altercations with true Baguio people driving in the city.

True Baguio City drivers know how to acknowledge and thank a vehicle that gives way by two short honks on their.  The short honks or beep-beep means "thank you".

The same thing is true when passing vehicles.  They just want to get ahead and just pass vehicles in front of them.  It becomes scary and dangerous when they do that  on roads with a lot of curves.  Imagine when they do that driving uphill or downhill.

Here's hoping that this blog will get across people from other places who are driving in Baguio City.  Our traffic enforcement people no longer put signs like "Give way to vehicles going uphill".  We used to have those signs in the city.

Please drive carefully when in Baguio City.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Crocodile Farm of Palawan

Palawan is a sanctuary to many wildlife that cannot be found elsewhere in the Philippines.  There is a special place called the Crocodile Farm in Puerto Princesa City where both saltwater and fresh water crocodiles are being cared for.  It is open for public viewing where the crocodiles are kept in their own special containment.

The start of viewing them is in small containers starting from baby crocs.  The aisle in the middle divides the several containers where the left side is for fresh water crocodiles and the right side contains the saltwater crocodiles.  The height of the containers is about 4 feet high.  Viewers are discouraged from taking photos with flash on because this can agitate even the baby crocodiles that can cause them to jump out of their cage.

As one progresses to the farther containers, the crocodiles contained in them are older and bigger than those in the first containers.  There are fewer of them in each container because they are larger.

Going to the larger containers that are actually large concrete pits are the adult crocodile.  A walkway above these pits is where the visitors walk to see them from above.  Again from the first pit going to the last pit, the crocodiles in them are larger than the previous pit.  The last two pits contain the largest crocodiles who are solo in their own pits.  The largest in captivity in the farm is one meter shorter than "Lolong", the biggest crocodile on record that was captured captured in the Philippines.

The largest one is a bit larger than the crocodile skeleton enclosed in a glass cage at the entrance to the crocodile tour lobby.  Don't miss to check out the Crocodile Farm of Palawan when you're there.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Typhoon preparedness

People can say that preparedness is something that can be a hedge against a bad situation or incident.  There are many things that we can be prepared for but there's no way to tell what the forces of nature can do.  The Philippines has experienced heavy rainfall from monsoon rains brought about by weak typhoons.  Many were caught unaware of the floods that happened.

The case of super typhoon Yolanda is something that nobody can prepare for except probably evacuate to a place where it will not pass through.  Weathermen say it was not proper to call the storm surge a tsunami.  They failed though to stress that the storm surge will be equal to a tsunami for a super typhoon like this.

The people living in the places where the typhoon passed through were probably prepared for strong winds and rain.  No one told them of what happened around a hundred years ago when their location was hit by a typhoon as strong as Yolanda.  No one had any idea how nature will take its toll.

Would a government call for donations a week or a few days before the storm hit land?  Who would donate something when no one is in need, yet.  Will planes and boats be put on stand-by for rescue and delivery of relief goods?  If ever such a preparation was made and the typhoon suddenly veered or even dissipated, critics now will be laughing at the government for a stupid move, right?

So there is no point in saying there was no preparation.  Even the staunchest critics of government are not even prepared for anything that can happen to their person.  What happened in the areas that the typhoon ravaged is what is referred to as fortuitous event.  Can anyone say what those people should have done?  Can relief operations be conducted at the snap of the fingers?

Read this: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/history-storms-1900s-newspaper-reveals-devastating-leyte-typhoon-134230084.html

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crabs of Iwahig Penal Farms

Crabs sizes can be different from place to place.  How fat they would be will also be another thing.  45 years ago when we were in Palawan, I was amazed on the size of the crabs that were sold to us at the Iwahig Penal Farms.  They were really big in size compared to those what were sold in the market in Baguio City.

The crabs then, if I remember right, were caught in the rice fields
where there were a lot of coconut trees around the rice fields.  As I was just around 13 years old then, I lacked the curiosity of knowing if the crabs were fat or not.  What was important to me was that they were yummy and satisfied my palate.

Crabs - Iwahig Penal Farms
Going back this October 2013, I asked people around Iwahig if there were still a lot of crabs caught in the rice fields.  According to them, there are not as many now as it was way back in 1968.  I thought to myself that if ever there were any, they would probably cost much that it will not be affordable to have them.

Opened Crabs - Iwahig Penal Farms
A good friend though who is from the Iwahig Penal Farms, said he would sponsor lunch for us because we have been away for so long. The lunch came on the day before our departure. The crabs he had prepared were not as big as they used to be but they were really bulging with fat. My daughter feasted on two of the fattest crabs that were specially picked for her by my friends.

Don't forget to have a taste of the Iwahig crabs if you get to visit the place.

Super Typhoon Yolanda's destruction

As far as I can remember, there have been other destructive typhoons that have hit the Philippines of all the times I have been aware of natural calamities.  We were also a victim of one caused by nature which was the July 16, 1990 7.4 earthquake.  There was widespread destruction in our City of Baguio and neighboring provinces.  There was still no internet and advanced cellular phones during those times.

The destruction that super typhoon Yolanda has brought upon in the Visayas region, especially in Leyte, was very devastating.  It wiped out entire towns that were never done by other natural forces of nature.  It wrought havoc that made it impossible to estimate loss of property and lives immediately after a few days.

Super typhoon Yolanda was almost like a giant tornado that was 600 kilometers across compared to only around 150 meters for that of a tornado.  It also traveled across for days unlike a tornado that would dissipate after a few miles.  It was a typhoon and tornado at the same time rolled into one destructive force of nature,

Comparative photos of locations completely destroyed by typhoon Yolanda can be seen at http://cdnimages.abs-cbnnews.com/graphics/others/111313_luntad-leyte.jpg.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Palawan after 45 years

It seemed to have been just a dream to see Puerto Princesa City, Palawan after 45 years.  I studied there at Holy Trinity College (HTC) now Holy Trinity University (HTU) when I was in the second year and half of third year in high school.  That was from 1968 to 1969.  http://rosmaxele.blogspot.com

In those years, we lived inside the mining compound of Palawan Quicksilver Mines, Inc. (PQMI) that was around 14 kilometers from the heart of Puerto Princesa.  The roads then were dirt roads with some gravel.  They were lined on both sides with thick vegetation, shrubs and trees.  On our way to school and back, we often encountered monitor lizards and roadrunner birds crossing the streets.

Now, all major roads in the city are concreted and the highway that leads to the Underground River some two hours of road travel from the city are all concrete.  The distance will be something like 120 kilometers as we traveled at an average speed of 60 KPH.

The areas within 15 kilometers radius from the center of Puerto Princesa has been developed and much of the trees and plants were saved.  The existence of many trees and dense vegetation makes the weather cooler than any other place in the Philippines that is near the seas.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Burnham Park - Baguio City

The Baguio Burnham Park no longer allows parking on the streets around the lake.  Some people who drive their cars to work used to park there because of lack of parking space elsewhere.  It did not matter to them if it was quite a walk to their offices.  Malcolm Square has been closed for a long time now because it was converted to "istambayan" when it was one of the original parking spaces in Baguio!

Some time ago, corrupt officials allowed Jadewell to conquer the parking spaces along the streets of Baguio to make them pay parking.  This was contested and now gone but maybe a case is still being heard in court.  The parking area beside Ganza is now useless because of this.

The city now made the former site of the Public Library in Burnham Park as parking area.  Php 40.00 for the first hour!  I did not bother finding out how much it would be for the succeeding hours.  Compare this to parking at SM that is covered and secure that only costs Php 35.00 for the whole day and that of Baguio Cathedral that charges only for Php 20.00 for the first hour.  If less than an hour it's free.

Why are the city officials less concerned while private people understand that parking space in Baguio is very limited and make them available at lesser cost?  Is it because no more pork barrel to get money from?
It pays to exercise in Burnham Park

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pork Barrel - Philippines

Since the Janet Napoles issue came out, several politicians were linked to her by "photo".  Several photos of her with prominent Philippine politicians came out but does not necessarily mean that they have coursed their pork barrel through her foundations.  Quite surely there are many people who have photos with politicians and if ever they did anything wrong, that does not mean the politician with them in a picture had something to do with it, right?

There are also politicians who deny knowing her and a photo with Napoles does not necessarily mean they know her.  The problem with some of us Filipinos is that we are quick to conclude.  We have to accept that whenever there is an opportunity to have a photo with a celebrity or politician, we are so eager to get in with them in pictures.

The point here is investigators should now come up with names and proof that the politicians indeed funneled their pork barrels through her foundations.  That should also include the people in government agencies that have been dealing with them directly in processing the PDAF that Janet Napoles made a lot of money from.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dollar to Philippine Peso speculation

In late 2012, there was news that the Philippine peso was to get stronger against the U.S. dollar.  There were speculations that the exchange rate would be $1.00 to 38.00 or even 36.00 PHP.  This was because of the said economic growth of the Philippines compared to its Asean neighbors.

Until now news still comes out that the Philippine economy is getting stronger.  However, the speculated stronger peso to the dollar has not happened yet.  Actually the peso weakened against the dollar and is currently around 42.00 to 43.00 to a dollar!

Small businesses are the basis of  a country's economy.  There are more of them than the big businesses.  Small businesses are hard up and a good number of them is closing down.  If they are closing down it means to say people are having less when it comes to source of income.

Some are going for the option of employment after closing down their business.  There's no way that employment can substitute good income from a business.  A good example is phasing out of old model taxi cabs.  There's no way for those who have single units to afford getting a brand new model of vehicle to be used as taxi.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Philippine Economy improving?

News about the Philippine economy is improving does not seem right.  Small businesses should be thriving but it does not seem so.  In the past year, so many internet cafes and shops closed down in Baguio's CBD.  A month ago an eatery cum sari-sari store near my computer shop closed down, then another nearby sari-sari store that virtually had no overhead costs closed down two days ago.

QuadMen NetShop
For my internet shop business, it has been down by more than 50% since late 2012.  It is marginally getting over break-even in most of the days.  Below break-even days in a month is around 60%.  Early this morning, my niece who lives nearby, asked if we could sell school supplies in the shop.  She's also feeling not well with whatever income she's making.

It's a wonder where the economy is making good in the Philippines. Maybe it would be just the big businesses.