Friday, December 26, 2008
As early as October or November of every year, plans are made on how Christmas festivities would go. Who would prepare or bring food, pot-luck style. Then, you could imagine the number of gifts under the Christmas tree. With gifts coming from each family to all the children. With 9 families giving around 27 gifts that would be a total of 243, more or less! Every year one among us would stand as an emcee to announce who gets each gift and from whom it came from. It takes about an hour to give those gifts to them.
By around 1995, when many of the children were grown ups and some of my brothers and sisters have moved abroad, we had smaller reunions until to none when our parents passed away in 2000 and 2001. The bad economy had also caught up with most of us that we could no longer afford festive occasions like that. My brothers and sisters who reside more than 250 kilometers away from our hometown Baguio City, could not longer afford to come and stay for the two holidays.
It was obvious that when my father still had a good memory until the early 1990s, he was the factor for those reunions. He would remember those who were not around. He was a strict disciplinarian and put much value for those once-a-year reunions. It was our mother then who would be coordinating the coming reunions. That's how our parents were until old age and memory gaps caught up with them.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008
If I remember right, the Golden Boy then wanted to be the promoter of Pacquiao. There was a controversial contract signing that Manny has denied because it was signed by someone in his camp. Eventually, I believe, the contract was not good and did not go in effect. Getting the contract to be null and void would have had some costs involved before and after. Probably more on the the side of Oscar "Golden Boy" dela Hoya. (Anyone reading this see where I am leading to?) So, there must have been some way for both parties to recover lost expenses. My guess is as good as yours! There is some pride involved in it, also before and after. But who cares about the pride? They are in for the money and nothing more! The Golden Boy blamed Roach when he lost to Mayweather, did he recover that pride going against the Pacman? Off course not! He "threw in the towel" even before the fight was to continue! It was a plain fact that he already earned the money, forget about the pride in retaining or regaining the title and who wants to get hurt more for the same money?
The fight of Pacquiao-Diaz was true to the last punch. Diaz fought gallantly although he was being battered by Pacquiao. Manny Pacquiao always did his best in training and the results always showed in his fights. Oscar dela Hoya said he prepared more than he ever did in any of his previous fights. His abs showed the results but not for his performance.
Manny Pacquiao fought according to his skill. Oscar dela Hoya did not fight to the skill that people know him for. I would have cheered loudly if he fell down face first like Diaz. Manny fought someone who just wanted "his money" back.
Monday, November 24, 2008
3 or 4 months back from this date, it just came to me that the results of the fight will not be in favor of Manny Pacquiao. I wanted to blog about it but I don't know how it just came as a vision while I was awake. I was not watching TV or doing anything. Some sort of a vision or picture came in my mind out of nowhere of his beaten and bloodied face. I tried to watch all his previous fights and I did not see one that had that much beaten and bloodied face.
He was awesome and outstanding in his last fight against David Diaz because their height is almost the same. His win against Juan Manuel Marquez had cast some doubts in it. Against Eric Morales there were doubts on the condition of Morales having cut down much weight in short period.
His giving away of tickets worth millions and turkey for thanksgiving lately seems to be a premonition for the Pacman of what is about to come. Is it some sort of a "farewell" or "good-bye"? I believe he did nothing similar to this in his previous fights.
By the way I am not "seer" or a fortune teller. I just felt the need to post what I experienced for whatever worth it is or will be. I am for Manny Pacquiao to win his fight against Oscar dela Hoya. I believe in his skills but height does really matter in boxing.
UPDATE (11/28/08): Pacquiao giving up WBC Lightweight Crown? Is this another sign? He had more difficult fights in lower divisions! Yes, he overwhelmed Diaz but did he fight anyone else in that division? He's saying he's more comfortable now at 140 to 147!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Our city would be no different from others 30 to 40 years back. The City of Baguio is also known as the City of Pines because of the predominant Pine Tree growth. The city used to have that fresh air scent of pine and that is what you experience when walking around town during those days. Hardly would you notice public transportation stop because of traffic. They would only stop to pick up passengers. Walking up or down the main street Session Road, you practically know everyone or looks familiar. It was rare to see a stranger but it was easy to detect a tourist. Sidewalk or street vendors were even a rare sight to see except, of course, in the public market.
Police officers were very respectful in their navy blue uniform as they were respected highly by the civilians then. There was a very low incidence of violence and crime then that the police had their eyes more on jaywalkers and littering! Concern for vehicular traffic and traffic violations was almost nil. Even with vehicular accidents. Drivers then were so disciplined and everyone was willing to give way to another. You could even call a taxi cab company for taxi service! They would not even flag down their meters from their point of origin! That's made taxi signs, " ON CALL" in our city famous.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
All around our city there were a lot of basketball courts from gyms to open-air standard full courts down to street half-courts. There were sub-standard sized courts to even smaller ones that players use smaller balls like tennis balls. We sometimes play for long hours until our strength is drained without worrying for the cost of using of the facility. The same free use could be said of volleyball, table and lawn tennis.
Probably since the mid-1980s until now, all of those free facilities are already pay-for-use facilities. The hourly rate is quite high that only well-off people could afford to use them frequently for two hours or more. It is sad to see many youth these days who want to be in sports but could not afford it anymore. This is one of the many reasons why the youth now have turned to cheaper computer games, use of drugs and gang activities. It is really a sad combination of seeing the past in your mind while seeing the present with your eyes.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Somewhere in the 1970s, the career as a salesman started to edge other careers. There were sales engineers and other sales people from other professions. As for myself, I was in the banking industry as a working student in 1974, then got into automotive sales in the last quarter of 1976. Why? My brother I was next to, was in that industry and I saw him making good! Commissions alone on one car sale is twice that of my regular one month salary with the bank! True enough I made it good and in less than 4 months, I was promoted as a Branch Sales Manager. The car sales industry was good in our country until early 1979, then it suddenly went slow in the second quarter. I was only 25 years old then and decided to find employment in the pharmaceutical sales industry. It was not difficult to find a job in those years as long as one had a college degree. When I got into that industry, I never thought that it was better, career-wise and the pay. As a medical representative, it was almost glamorous as you worked on your own time and disposal! Visits from higher-ups came only once a month or as rare as once in three months! There were so many perks in that industry then. Being in that industry started to look so good in the mid 1980s. It was a blessing in disguise for me to have left that industry in late 1982 when we started to go on our own business.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In my search for a history in this I was surprised to find one at seaquestdivecenter! It was posted by Benjamin A. Usigan under the title "The Evolution of Philippine Exchange Rate Policies". It was updated only until 1992. Here's an excerpt of some of the exchange rates on the article that I am quoting directly:
"From the post-war period up to the beginning of the 1960s, the
In response, the monetary authorities adopted a multi-tier exchange rate system starting April 1960. Under this system, exporters were allowed to surrender 75 percent nof their foreign exchange receipts at the official rate while the remaining 25 percent was valued at the free rate initially set at P3.20 to $1.00.
In November 1960, the decontrol program enlarged the amount of transactions valued at the free market rate to 50 percent of all foreign exchange receipts with the exchange rate at the free market reduced to P3.00 to $1.00.
On November 8, 1965, the decontrol program was completed and the peso was devalued to P3.90 to a dollar.
On February 21, 1970, the
The peso's exchange rate experienced two hefty depreciations in 1983: from P10.083 per US$.00 in May to P11.0015 per US$1.00 in June (9.1 percent) and from P11.002 per US$1.00 in September to P14.002 per US$1.00 in October (27.3 percent).
After June 1984, when the peso depreciated by 28.6 percent from P14.002 to P18.002, the peso thereafter settled at P19.97 at the end of 1984 and appreciated by 7 percent to P18.4 in January 1985."
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Actually, it was only in recent past about 5 or 6 years ago, that I came to realize all these. There are a lot of stories I could blog about here during our almost 2-year stay in Palawan. But as my usual self, I would not want to make this a boring article to read as I know most of you should be doing more important things online. Part 2 of this series will be my personal adventures, what I did on my own there that my siblings and parents wouldn't have known about. I hope I could write it very soon as I am excited myself to tell the stories about them too. Some of them were scary or weird growing-up scenarios.
As of this writing the Palawan Quicksilver Mines has mined-out itself for many years now. I have not been in contact with any of my former classmates or friends since we left. Having been online frequently for the past 4 years now, I have not come across any of them yet, inspite of some searches I have made.
Until the mid-1980s, our city, the City of Baguio was a pleasant place to go around in a car or just walking. The cold early mornings could still be felt and the refreshing smell of Pine trees was still much around. Taking a ride home was still easy especially for those who live not more than a 15-minute ride away. It was usual then that someone would be at home who has prepared lunch. So, some 20 to 25 minutes could be used to eat and watch some TV and still be on time to go back to school or work. Many people were still residing within the central business district. When the city needed more office or business spaces, rentals within the business district went high for commercial use. This meant people had to reside farther away and had started having difficult time to go home for lunch breaks. Living farther calls for a need of vehicles - more vehicles caused traffic. And that is how it is now in our city.
Monday, September 1, 2008
There are some things unique to the city. It is the only city that has a Presidential Mansion in the country, that's aside from the Malacanang Palace in Manila. The city also boasts of having a Supreme Court and Court of Appeals buildings along with cottages for the Justices and Cabinet Members. The summer court sessions used to be an annual thing. I am not really sure if it still is that way now. The Presidents of the Philippines have always used the Presidential Mansion at least twice or thrice a year.
Photo Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/islandman/
That's what the City of Baguio was as far as I know why it was a special city in the Philippines.
Photo Courtesy of www.specialtyinterests.net
The Filipinos generically show utmost respect to elders. This is the reason why most families are closely knit. We use some words to show respect when addressing elders or while speaking with them. Sometimes though, it's either funny or weird when an older one unknowingly addresses another person with those words of respect to a younger fellow. The more so for those not well acquainted and age gap is difficult to determine. Well, those are some customs or traditions which at times could be improper, if not embarrassing. With some western influences, that custom or tradition has dwindled down a bit. Another worthwhile mentioning here is, Filipinos have developed addressing Caucasians as "sir" or "ma'am". This could have cropped up from some sort of feeling inferior in race color.