Herding Cinderellas

When the Makati standoff yesterday finally ended late in the afternoon, I thought it would be a nice way to end the crazy week by attending the office party. Not only was it crazy in terms of work, it was also such because of the crazy weather brought about by several storms and a pretty strong earthquake that left me dizzy literally on a busy Tuesday.

So I thought that it would be a pretty nice idea to get into a place where people are supposed to have a good time in time for the Christmas season. After all, a little self-indulgence should help relieve at least a little bit of stress I’ve had for the week that was, for the month that was, and to some extent, for the year that was.

I never realized how wrong I was.

At least not until the news of the 12 to 5 curfew reached me. The party venue saw scores of people leave as early as 8. By the time I left along with a companion at around 9, a little over 40 were left. I even jokingly said to other colleagues as I was leaving, “kelangan ko nang umalis. Wala akong pam-piyansa dito e.” (I have to leave already, I don’t have money for bail with me.”

I reached home at around 11 after slugging it out with other commuters. With such a sudden announcement, traffic has of course stressed the streets of the city. Flocks of other commuters were clogging up the sides of roads waiting for public transportation. The curfew was on everyone’s mouth as I passed through closing malls and establishments which were supposed to still hold people at that time.

When I reached home anyway, news of media people picked up by the police and detained at Camp Bagong Diwa were all over the channels. That and the alarming curfew announced by administration officials left me disappointed with the times.

So that was how martial law felt.

Back during GMA’s campaign the past elections, I knew I had to be wary of her. Despite the known support of the elite and supposed intellectuals of this country to her, I knew there was something wrong when her camp did everything to win at all costs, including dirty means.

Now it’s still very much the same; a difference being that this time, ordinary people are the ones at the disposal of the authority’s whims.

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Down That Alley

Despite the fact that I encounter tons of blog-worthy stuff, I can’t update this one fast enough when reality creeps in.

My hiatus here’s due to my Master’s foray chomping a fat chunk of my time. And that’s for someone who boringly plays a full-time 9-6 corporate guy, freelancer and family man.

Anyway, I’ve decided to throw MIS related stuff at blogger. Not only would that afford me some amount of organization, it also lets me do stuff I can’t do here, (i.e. Javascript.) Classmates or plainly interested folks who want to throw in a bit of time or attention, welcome to MIS Alley.

It’s Very Elementary…

For the nth time I’ve never been very much fond of forwarded stuff. I have to admit though that there are worthwhile ones that I come across with every now and then. I find the following for instance an excellent case in point even though I’ve heard it in the news recently.

I’m 100% sure that this income disparity is being replicated in almost all of the provinces in the Philippines. If we had more Ed Panlilios in our government, we would be just like Singapore in a short time. Read on……

We hope we are witnessing what will be a sustained revolution in good governance in the Province of Pampanga , under its newly elected governor, Fr. Ed Panlilio.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer of August 26, only one month after Fr. Panlilio assumed his gubernatorial duties,the province’s income from the quarrying of volcanic ash from Mount Pinatubo had reached P29.4 million. (Haulers pay a fee of P300 per truck of volcanic ash that they haul from the quarry.)

By contrast, during his predecessor Mark Lapid’s term as governor, the province’s income from the same quarrying operations amount ed to only P29 million a year.
This gaping variation in official incomes from the same activity should inspire a new set of textbooks in Arithmetic, especially for the school children of Pampanga.

There is nothing like local color and local situations to cultivate comprehension in young
minds. *

Sample problems: If Fr. Ed’s provincial government can collect P29.4 million in 26 days (we assume no quarrying on Sundays), how much does it collect in one day?

Answer: An average of P1.130 million.

If Fr. Ed’s provincial government collects an average of P1.130 million a day from quarrying operations, how much can it collect in one year of 313 days(365
days less 52 Sundays)?

Answer: P353, 690,000, or P354 million. *

If Fr. Ed’s provincial government can collect P354 million a year, and Mark Lapid’s provincial government collected only P29 million a year, what is the difference in their official yearly collections? *

Answer: P325 million a year.

If Mark Lapid was governor for four years and his provincial government’s annual collections from quarrying amounted to an average of P29 million, how much did his provincial govt. officially collect in four years?

Answer: P116 million.

If Fr. Ed manages to remain as provincial governor for four years, and his provincial government’s annual collection from quarrying were to average P354 million, how much
will his provincial government collect in four years?

Answer: P1.416 billion. *

What is the difference between P1.416 billion and P116 million?

Answer: P1.3 billion.

Where did this P1.3 billion go?

Answer: Only God and the Lapids know. (‘Lapids’ is in plural because Mark, as a second-generation political dynast,succeeded his own father, now Sen. Lito Lapid.*

We don’t know how much Lito’s provincial government officially collected from quarrying operations during his watch. Should be a good investigative project for media.) *

If **Gawad Kalinga spends an average of P75,000 per low cost house, how many low-cost houses can P1.3 billion build? *

Answer: 17,333 low-cost houses.

If the average Pampanga family were to consist of five persons(father, mother, three children), how many people would be benefited by 17,333 low-cost houses?

Answer: 86,665 persons. *

End of Arithmetic lesson.*

Fr. Ed is to be congratulated for setting a high benchmark for collection from quarrying operations against which his predecessors have a moral obligation
to explain why their collections were so low, and against which future governors will be judged by the people of Pampanga. *

Volcanic ash, by the way, is a superior building material. Many of the buildings, aqueducts & monuments of the Roman Empire that have survived for almost 2,000
years are known to have been built w/ volcanic ash, quarried from the environs of Mount Vesuvius after it erupted in 79 AD.

We don’t expect Fr.Ed’s moral victory in Pampanga to be remembered for the next 2,000yrs. We would be happy with five, ten or 20 years, enough,
we hope, to spawn a moral-revolution- by- example to save the Filipinos from their worst enemies – themselves.

GOOD LUCK Philippines. ..*

*”Therefore, the primary cause of poverty is not overpopulation of the Phil! *

*It’s because our counrty is overpopulated with corrupt officials.*

Two for the Last Quarter

The bombing of the Batasan Hall last Tuesday night had me texting my uncle after hearing it from the news and reading of it through official text advisories from the organization I’m currently working for.

Good thing that as of June he ceased to.

Anyway there it is less than a month after the Glorietta explosion took place before the year ends, another one found its way in a supposedly secure place this time. As of now, the casualty has been Rep. Wahab Akbar of Basilan while there were still others injured.

Of course, rumors of Martial Law are on the rise expectedly because of the recent spite of bombings reminiscent of what happened three and a half decades before. Prior to the incident, it is common for Filipinos in anger at representatives perceived to be corrupt to wish that the latter’s group be fired a warhead while converging under one roof. Well they somewhat got their wish now. From the way I see it though, no one is celebrating.

Truly we live in dangerous times and whatever happens from here on is anyone’s guess.

And the World Pool Champion This Year Is…

Daryl Peach.

A lot late an entry here but the tangles I’ve been handling this time of the year left me with little time to squeeze this one through. Anyway there it is. It’s the guy from England who held the trophy in the end by staying in the game long enough to find the final push and opportunity to steal the crown from a Filipino in his turf.

And that must’ve felt bad so sour for Gomez to say the least. He had a very hot streak in the eliminations only to crumble in the last hurdle. Moreover he had his chances. While both of them actually did have errors, the ultimate blunder was the give-away shot at the 9-ball when the scores were tied at 15 a piece. His miss led to Peach coming back to the table and had the latter sealing the crown as he made a ball shot after shot until the next rack.

I felt so frustrated having to spend all those hours in front of the TV because I was rooting for a fellow countryman. I guess it’s pretty much nothing compared to the guy who spent all those weeks taking world class pool players down not to mention all those practices to remain at par with the competition.

That is not to say that Peach didn’t deserve the crown. He did and he certainly deserves respect. He has earned mine when he did that against a hometown favorite in an excitingly close game marred by unforced errors by timely composing himself in the end to end any hopes of another Filipino bagging the title.

Better luck next year fellow pool fans.

I Knew It!

ma_360-beta_1.gifSo after IBM ending Redbooks, Yahoo 360‘s officially going and based from this, this and this posts Yahoo’s hard pressed at addressing the mixed feelings of 360 people who found their home there. No wonder rumors about what’s happening abound there!

Not that I still care really, (jumped ship long ago.) It’s more of a sigh of relief as it turned out my hunch over how that service was lacking the progress it had to scale to become a major player in the blogging scene was already suspect of a lack of direction of those behind it, wasn’t just unreasonably coming from my frustrations solely. Coming from the first ones from this country, (if not the first literally,) to dive into 360, I thought that little Beta in the 360 logo sure looked strangely overdue there.

And I won’t even get into the particular details of my frustrations there.

Just Some Stories

My daughter was just discharged from the hospital after 48 hours of confinement. With our fears of her being another case in the national statistics for dengue these days already allayed, all I want is my long deprived 8-hour-sleep before going back to my usual routine of office work then family man tomorrow. And to think I’m already enrolled for graduate studies and still working on another ball to my priority juggling.

Anyway just another couple of things before I doze off to sleep.

Health

It’s a good thing my present company had already secured an HMO for my wife and daughter before this incident happened. At least out-of-hand unplanned expenses running miles away from the family budget’s grasp were the least of our worries for all three times we had to have her checked for fever that kept on coming back apart from 2 days she had to be kept under observation in the hospital because of earlier symptoms possibly pointing out to the mosquito-borne disease.

A strangely sad contrast to such a degree of security was the lack of it when we were waiting for her bed to be fixed. A couple which looked to be in their forties brought their son because of dengue. The doctor which attended to the kid said he needs to be admitted.

Now I know more or less how this author must’ve felt when I saw how the couple reacted when they were told of the amount they had to deposit for their son to be admitted.

Taxi

While our recent frequents to the hospital resulted in taxi rides come the time to go home, this part’s not about any of those rides but those of someone else’s.

This blog entry by Adrian is just third of the more interesting conversations I got to hear from someone taking a cab.

The first is a story from a former colleague which told of a conversation with a driver which started off with an exchange of political opinions. He (my officemate) sensed that there was more to the guy when the guy used schooled English often. Because my office mate was intrigued of the unusually educated person he was talking to, the conversation turned to the account of the poor guy’s once affluent life including the known schools where he graduated and the properties he had.

It turned out that for some strange reason, the guy’s wife left him taking along everything with her. To which my colleague could only retort:

Damn! Diyan mo talaga masusukat ang pagkalalaki mo: yung kung papano ka babangon ulit. I hope you can take an advice though. Next time bro, just screw and don’t get screwed up…

LOL

The next one involves an elderly driver who tries to shed light on opportunities for medical professionals abroad to my officemate. This after he hears my officemate tell of his friends who have found nursing opportunities in the U.S.

After I got off, the driver went on to clarify stuff that appeared exaggerated to him. At least that’s according to a guy who handled one of the divisions of a medical supplies company in that country long enough to be able to have his children finish college here. In short it was the following day that saw my friend tell me how that guy related what he knew about life there, from details regarding rates of nurses in different states to decent estimates of cost of living there.

I guess these just go to show that despite the stereotype we have of taxi drivers, there are still some out there who make even more sense than even a good number of professionals.