Top 20 Individual Taxpayers in 2009

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bureau of Internal Revenue gas release the names of the highest taxpayers for 2009. They are

1. Manny Pacquiao - the boxing legend
2. Elaine B. Gardiola - well-known DPWH contractor
3. Ronaldo Soliman - with business in real estate
4. Rainero Borja - BPO pioneer
5. Lauro Baja Jt. - UN Ambassador
6. Willie Revillame - Wowowee host
7. Francisco Guerra III - Do we know this guy?
8. Kris Aquino - Who does not know this flamboyant lady?
9. Patricia Zobel de Ayala - sibling of Jaime Augusto and Fernando Zobel of Ayala group
10. Manuel Zamora Jr. - Philex mining investor
11. Danding Cojuangco of San Miguel Corp.
12. Manuel Pangilinan of PLDT
13. Bea Zobel de Ayala Urquijo of the Ayala group
14. Gigi Chio Ibasco - engaged in construction business
15. Manuel Lopez of Meralco
16. Christopher Salcedo Co - ?
17. Justo Aboitiz Ortiz of the Aboitiz group
18. Piolo Pascual - a famous actor
19. Ramon Ang - president of San Miguel Corporation
20. Federico Lopez - again of the Lopez Group which includes Meralco

Well if you are wondering why some famous names in Philippine politics, business, and entertainment are nowhere in the top ten, well marahil andon sila in the top 100. Pwede kasing bumaba and income nila for 2009 o kaya talaga namang kunti ang income nila as individual pero ung mga kumpanya nila ang nagbabayad ng mas malaking buwis.

Hay naku, if only everybody pays the correct amount of taxes.
And if only the government uses every centavo of the collected taxes for legal expenses at hindi ito naibubulsa. But this another story.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pwede nga bang yumaman ang isang mahirap?
Syempre naman!

Pero pwede nga bang yumaman ang isang mahirap sa malinis na paraan?
Oo, syempre.


Ang Sagot ko dito ay hindi lamang sipag at tiyaga sa pagnenegosyo (entreprenuership)tulad ng sinasabi ng isang pulitiko. Kasama rito ang swerte at tamang paghawak ng pera.

Ito ang aking pananaw. Kahit masipag at matiyaga ka, kung sakitin ka naman, iyong perag naiipon mo napunpunta sa paggamot mo. Paano ka yayaman? Isang pang halimbawa. Paano kung mataas ang suweldo mo o kita mo pero nilulustay mo lang sa pambababae o pagsusugal o sa iba pang bisyo, paano ka yayaman?

Mayroon akong matagal na kakilala. Matagal syang nagtrabaho at naghusay sa isang motorshop. Nagtayo sya ng sarili niyang repair shop. Iyong mga dating customer niya sa boss niya ay lumipat sa kanya. Ngayon mayroon na siyang malaking bahay at maraming sasakyan.

See? Mayroon pa akong isang halimbawa, isang probinsyana na nagtayo ng isang maliit na tindahan sa isang palengke sa Quezon City. Pinalago nya 'yong tindahan na yon. Ngayon may bahay na siya at sasakyan bukod sa nabili niyang sakahan sa probinsya at pinapag-aral ang mga anak sa pribadong paaralan.

Kayo, mayroon ba kayong kakilala na yumaman sa malinis na paraan?


My Dream Beach Destinations in the Philippines

Monday, April 12, 2010

The following are the beaches in the Philippines that I want to visit before I die:

1. Motyong Beach in Casiguran, Aurora (Luzon)
2. Gota Beach in Caramoan, Camarines Sur (Luzon)
3. San Vicente Beach in San Vicente, Palawan (Visayas or Luzon?)
4. Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan, Cebu (Visayas)
5. Alona Beach in Panglao, Bohol (Visayas)
6. Caliocan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Leyte (Visayas)
7. Dakak Beach in Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte (Mindanao)
8. Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental (Mindanao)

If only I were a rich man like Manny Villar or Henry Sy, I would invest a lot to develop these beaches and make it as popular as Phuket in Thailand or Hawaii and thus creating thousands of jobs. In this way, there would be less Filipinos "na naliligo sa gitna ng basura!"



Thursday, April 8, 2010

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the daughter of a former president. If Noynoy wins in this coming election, we will have another scion of a former president as leader of the land. And then in 2016, we will have Mar Roxas as the next president - another scion of a former president. After him, it would be the turn of Kris Aquino. And then she would be followed by Jinggoy Estrada and then Bongbong Marcos and then in the distant future, we would have President James Yap Jr.

And you call this change?


Baby James Yap endorses Manny Villar for President

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Usap-usapan ngayon ang ginawa ni Baby James Yap na pagbanggit sa pangalanng Villar noong kampanya ng Liberal Party sa Bacolod City. Syempre abot langit ang tuwa ni Manny Villar sa ginawa ni Baby James Yap. Ayon kay Villar, hindi nagsisinungaling ang bata.

Click nyo ito para mapanood ang video sa youtube.

Baby James Yap endorses Manny Villar for President

Ayan kasi pati mga bata ay ginagamit sa kampanya!


4th Gawad Haydee Yorac Awardee

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When many Filipino doctors and nurses choose to leave the country for that proverbial greener pasture abroad, a distinguished physician have chosen to stay and serve the rural folks. His name is DR. KADIL M. SINOLINDING, JR. of Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Dr. Sinolinding is the 2009 winner of the 4th Gawad Haydee Yorac Award. He is a well-known eye specialist whose "Vision 20/20 Cataract Charities Project" has helped thousands of people in Mindanao. He was a graduate of West Visayas State University in 1989. In 2000, he was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines and in the following year, he received the award as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the world. Later on, he was selected as one of the five heroes for Pfizer Philippines.

He has children – Josh, Thianne and Khalil with his wife, Ma. Elena Paz Unson. Recently he was appointed Regional Secretary of the Department of Health in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). For more informantion, see

Congratulations Dr. Sinolinding and may you become an inspiration of selfless service to all Filipinos in general and to more medical practitioners in particular.


Corruption in the Philippines

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ask any Filipino whether based here or abroad if they want corruption. Of course no Filipino in his right mind would ever say he or she wants corruption. So then why is the Philippines considered one of the most corrupt countries in Asia? Are we not also the only one of two christian nations in Asia?

Corruption is evil. It deprives the people especially the poor of badly-needed money for services. It drives away investors and it limits the economic growth potential of the country.

Just a while ago, I went to help in the store of my sister. One customer asked if we could change the amount in the receipt. The actual amount is only 108 pesos but she wanted us to write instead 112 pesos. I asked why. She said she needed that 4 extra pesos for her benefit. Thank goodness she told me the truth. But of course this is a form of corruption.

I told my sister about it and she told me that the customer is a teacher! Of course I did not give in to the demand in a nice way so as not to antagonize the "valued customer".

Well this is not to say that teachers are corrupt. There are many teachers who are really honest.

In another instance, the delivery boys asked us if we could get an extra box of snack food for cash. I knew right away that the extra box was taken out of the supplier's warehouse without the owner's knowledge. (Naipuslit nila). If not, the delivery boys could just return it. Why are they selling it for cash and not include them in the purchased items?

My point here is that corruption does not happen only in government offices. It happens everywhere even at home!

"Hindi ako magnanakaw". (I will not steal).

This is the campaign slogan of Noynoy Aquino. Honestly I think this is more of a gimmick to attract voters than a real personal advocacy of good governance. Yet even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, the question is can his relatives say the thing? What about his supprters who are mostly former government officials and former cabinet members of Gloria Arroyo at that?

For Noynoy to promise no corruption when he wins the presidency is surely the hallmark of a traditional politician. It can not be forgotten that during presidency of his mother, the term "Kamag-anak Inc." was very popular to denote the voracity of the members of the powerful Cojuangco-Aquino dynasty.


The Meaning of Easter

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter refers to that particular Sunday in March or April when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. While some Christians believe that the foundation day of the Church is on Pentecost Sunday, many believe that the Church was actually founded on Easter Sunday.

So great is the importance given to Easter Sunday. This is in recognition to the truth that if Christ has not been resurrected, the christian faith is futile, as St. Paul has written.

But what is the meaning of Easter to the individual Christian? Personally, I believe that the most important message of easter is that life does not end in death. That there is life after death on earth. It means that Jesus have shown that death has no power over us, that there is no reason to fear death, that there is no need to be feel insecure, and that in the midst of the darkness of this world, we are still the children of the light.

Does the message of Easter rings a bell to our everyday life as Filipinos? When hopelessness permeates the whole fabric of the Filipino psyche due to poverty, corruption, and divisions, Easter shows us that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It brings us to the realization that only by dying to ourselves can we truly experience the power of the resurrection.

Easter is basically a message of hope. When we are about to give up on our ideals and dreams, Jesus invites us to reflect on his selfless act of giving Himself for others. When everything else seem to fail, we look up to Easter Sunday and reclaim our right as heirs of the Kingdom of God. Let us remember that when Jesus died on the Cross on that infamous Good Friday, his disciples became very fearful. Yet when they heard of his resurrection, they became very fearless.

Happy Easter to everyone.


Visiting Metro Manila Churches

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Like many other Catholics, I also observed Holy week by visiting at least seven churches around Metro Manila. With my nephew and houseboy as my companion, we went "church-hopping" on Good Friday.

At the outset, I explained to my companion the nature of "Bisita Iglesia". Alas, my explanation did not sink in. Even if I keep on telling them to behave well and to just pray inside the church, there they are holding on to their gameboy and cell phones. From time to time I have to "shhhh" them because of their loud whispers. On hindsight, I am still grateful that they came with me rather than stay at home and play the whole day.

Anyway, I consider visiting different churches as a way of spiritual renewal. Although our stay in one church is brief, at least it was prayerful. It has been a long while that I last meditated and I have this weakness of falling asleep when I say very long prayers or listen to long sermons.

What did I pray for? Well I prayed for peace of mind, peace at home, peace in the Philippines, and peace in the whole world. I also prayed for honest, orderly, and peaceful election (HOPE). Of course I did not forget to pray for guidance that my next career move would be successful.

Here are the photos of the churches we visited:

San Sebastian Church
This was our first stop: San Sebastian Church in Manila. With its unique architecture, it is one of the most beautiful churches in the Philippines.

The Benedictine Church near San Beda College along Mendiola.

Saint Jude Church near Malacanang Palace along Laurel Street. This church is always full of devotees of Saint Jude every Thursday.

The background is the Shrine of Mary, Our Lady of Peace on the boundary of Mandaluyong City and Quezon City. Beneath the shrine is the church that was put up on the site of the bloodless revolution in 1986 that toppled the regime of former President Marcos. The event is now called the EDSA I Revolution. On the same site, President Gloria Macapagasl-Arroyo took her oath of office after then President Joseph Estrada moved out of Malacanang during the so called EDSA 2 revolution.

Above is the 5th church that we visited: the church of the Our Mother of Perpetual in Baclaran, Paranaque City. One of the most popular church in the Philippine which is always full of pilgrims every Wednesday.

The Church of Jesus - the Way, the Truth, and the Life located near SM Mall of Asia.

It was already evening when we reached our last destination: the Malate Church above. The Malate Circle, in front of the church is, as usual, full of people.


Libreng Tindahan

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doon sa self-transformation seminar na sinalihan ko ay naikuwento ni Mr. Vic Hao Chin na sa India ay mayroon lugar na tinatawag na Auroville. Ang lugar na ito ay isang "UNIVERSAL TOWN where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity."

Sabi ni Mr. Vic na sa lugar na ito ay may LIBRENG TINDAHAN kung saan ang "mamimili" ay pupunta doon at kukuha ng kanyang pangangailan nang walang bayad. Pipirma ka lang at isusulat ang inyong nakuha. Ang mga stocks o items dito ay pawang mga donasyon lamang at hinihingi sa mga "mamimili" na magdonate rin pero dahil donation nga hindi ito sapilitan.

Ang tindahan na ito ay walang security guard at mga volunteers lang ang nag-aasikaso dito.

Hmmm, Pwede kayang magtayo ng isang libreng tindahan dito sa pilipinas? Baka naman sa isang oras ubos na ang "paninda" dito?


Self-Transformation Seminar

Monday, March 1, 2010

This blog has not been updated for a long time because I deliberately busied myself with many other things. There was the help requested by my sister, my Mandarin class at the Ateneo, reading a book ( which I hope to share later), updating and attending the Self-Transformation Seminar.

What is this self-transformation seminar? Well, by its name alone, it is a 3-day seminar which is all about transforming one's self. It is all about making constant changes in the self in order to achieve self-actualization or to reach one's fullest potential. Is it possible?

Of course it is. I learned from the sermon of a priest years ago that if there is no hope that man can change, then there is really no hope for the world. But then they always say hope springs eternal.

In the seminar, we reviewed our understanding of life in general including beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes. The speakers emphasized that many or all of our day-to-day actions and reaction are due to push-buttons or unreleased fears which we have accumulated in the past. Then values were clarified and tools were given for self-mastery.

The seminar was held at the headquarter of Theosophical Society of the Philippines in Quezon City. It was mainly conducted by a superb public speaker, the TS president, Mr. Vic Hao Chin. He was ably assisted by Atty. Flor, Bimboy and his wife Jo. Most of the participants were workers of NGOs, students, and interested individuals like me.

I attended this seminar because "Gustong kong bumait pero di ko magawa".


Saying "I Love You" in different Philippine Dialects

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This is how to say I LOVE YOU using different dialects of the Philippines:

Tagalog - Mahal Kita / Iniibig Kita
Ilocano - Ay-ayaten ka
Ifugao - Penpenhod cha-a (Ayangan version)
Kapampangan - Kaluguran da ka
Bicolano - namumuot ako sa imo
Waray - Pinaura ko ikaw
Cebuano - Hinigugma ko ikaw
Ilonggo - Palangga ta ka

And of course, the joke is that a japanized Filipino would say "I Rob Yu".

(I hope you can more...)

Happy Hearts / Hurts day!!!!!!


Manny, Manny, Manny

Monday, February 8, 2010

Manny, Manny, Manny. Money, Money, Money.

At least three Mannys are famous in the Philippines. One is in business and hopefully will remain in business. Another is in business and politics with the possibility of the becoming the president of the republic. The last one is into sport and entertainment but is trying hard to become a legislator.Actually their stories have been told and retold so I will just mention them in passing.

First, we have Manny V. Pangilinan, the head of telecommunication giant PLDT. Also known as MVP, he is a classic Filipino executive who really rose from the ranks. He is also the head of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments which has invested much in toll roads, electricity and water distribution, hospitals, and now television. He started his business career as an assistant to the president of a local company then he went to Hongkong as an OFW. While there, he befriended many rich people until he became the chairman of an Indonesian-owned company. Then he returned to the Philippines as an investor.

Then we have the presidential candidate, Manny B. Villar. We are told that he was born and grew up in Tondo, Manila. We are also told that he helped his mother sell fish at Divisoria Market. Then after being an employee in a local company, he started a construction business which grew into a multi-billion housing concern. He joined politics and was elected as a congressman for three terms eventually becoming house speaker. Then he run for and won as senator for two terms. He was a former senate president and he now wants to cap his political career by running for president.

Last but not the least is another billionaire in the person of Manny Pacquaio. We know he was a former helper in a bakeshop. He trained hard in boxing and he is now considered as the world's greatest boxer of all times and in the process earning lots and lots of money. He used his popularity to become a movie star and a mainstay in television as well as a reliable product endorser. He entered politics in the 2007congressional election but lost miserably. He is again running as representative in the upcoming May election.

Manny Pangilinan traces his root to Pampanga Province while Manny Villar is now a Las Pinas resident. Manny Pacquaio hails from General Santos City in South Cotabato but has transferred his residence to Sarangani Province where is now a candidate for congressman.

All the above three billionaires are trumpeting their rags to riches stories. Yet we can assume safely that only Manny Pacquiao really came from a very poor family. The other two Mannys were at best came from middle class families. They went to private schools and were even able to get Master's Degree. But the fact remains that they were all SELF-MADE people, meaning their wealth is a product of their own sweat and maybe tears. We may not vote for Manny Villar and we may not agree with Manny Pacquaio entering politics but their lives should inspire many Filipinos out there. That in this country, though poor as it is, the possibility to rise above mediocrity and poverty is there.

Hindi matatawaran ang naging papel na ginampanan at ginagampanan pa ng tatlong Manny na ito sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Maraming Pilipino ang humahanga sa kanila. Sana hindi nila basta basta walain ang tiwalang ito dahil sa paggawa ng hindi kanaisnais na bagay. Sana hindi nila gamitin ang kanilang yaman sa ikasisira ng kanilang pangalan at ng kanilang bansa!


Joke only

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Before the politikos will bore you with their campaign jingles, let me share with you an e-mail which I received from Ms. Cristina. Here it is:

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, and reads her book. Along comes a Game Warden in his boat.

He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies, (thinking-- "Isn't that obvious?")

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry officer, but I'm not fishing, I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you,” says the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

Eto Pa:

A lonely widow, aged 70, decided that it was time to get married again. She put an ad in the local newspaper that read:


On the second day she heard the doorbell. Much to her dismay, she opened the door to see a grey-haired gentleman sitting on a wheel chair. He had no arms or legs. "You're not really asking me to consider you, are you?" the widow said. "Just look at you ... you have no legs!"

The old gentleman smiled, "Therefore, I cannot run around on you!"

"You don't have any arms either!" she snorted. Again, the old man smiled, "Therefore, I can never beat you!"

She raised an eyebrow and asked intently, "Are you still good in bed??"

The old man leaned back, beamed a big smile and said, "I rang the door bell, didn't I?"

Oh di ba? Saan Ka pa?


Poverty Incidence in the Philippines

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's really a sad thing that PGMA's administration is spending oceans of public money to advertise its accomplishment during the past nine years. What is glaring though in the newspaper and TV ads is the failure of this not-so-cute adminstration to really uplift the lives of so many Filipinos.

Here is the list of provinces and their respective poverty incidence among population for 2006 as per record of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB):

The top poorest provinces

1. Tawi-Tawi - 78.2%
2. Maguindanao - 69.3%
3. Zamboanga Del Norte - 67.5
4. Apayao - 63.1%
5. Northern Samar - 61.1%
6. Abra - 60.7%
7. Surigao Del Norte - 60.2%
8. Masbate - 59.5%
9. Lanao Del Sur - 58.5%
10. Misamis Occidental - 56.3%

The top provinces with the least poverty incidence

1. Batanes - 0% (Congratulations???)
2. Rizal - 8.9
3. Bataan - 10.5
4. Pampanga - 10.8
5. Benguet - 11.1
6. Cavite - 11.2
7. Laguna - 13.2
8. Bulacan - 13.4
9. Nueva Vizcaya - 16.7
10 Quirino - 22.4

How other provinces fared:
1. Agusan del Norte - 40.0
2. Agusan del Sur - 56.2
3. Aklan - 52.0
4. Albay - 46.2
5. Antique - 51.6
6. Aurora - 36.8
7. Basilan - 43.7
8. Batangas - 30.7
9. Biliran - 42.2
10. Bohol - 46.9
11. Bukidnon - 37.2
12. Cagayan - 23.1
13. Camarines Norte - 49.3
14. Camarines Sur - 49.9
15. Camiguin - 42.1
16. Capiz - 30.2
17. Catanduanes - 46.8
18. Cebu - 28.2
19. Compostela Valley - 47.1
20. Davao Del Norte - 44.8
21. Davao Del Sur - 27.4
22. Davao Oriental - 48.8
23. Dinagat Islands - -
24. Eastern Samar - 51.9
25. Guimaras - 39.6
26. Ifugao - 40.3
27. Ilocos Norte - 21.2
28. Ilocos Sur - 32.6
29. Ilo-ilo - 30.4
30. Isabela - 30.7
31. Kalinga - 51.9
32. La Union - 32.6
33. Lanao Del Norte - 52.2
34. Leyte - 47.3
35. Marinduque - 50.6
36. Misamis Oriental - 37.5
37. Mt. Province - 50.4
38. Negros Occidental - 42.0
39. Negros Oriental - 48.1
40. North Cotabato - 34.6
41. Nueva Ecija - 37.7
42. Occidental Mindoro - 57.0
43. Oriental Mindoro - 55.5
44. Palawan - 49.3
45. Pangasinan - 35.0
46. Quezon - 47.7
47. Romblon - 51.7
48. Sarangani - 52.0
49. Siquijor - 21.5
50. Sorsogon - 55.3
51. South Cotabato - 37.3
52. Southern Leyte - 36.0
53. Sultan Kudarat - 47.4
54. Sulu - 52.2
55. Surigao Del Sur - 55.1
56. Tarlac - 27.6
57. Western Samar - 47.6
58. Zambales - 28.9
59. Zamboanga Del Sur - 33.8
60. Zamboanga Sibugay - 50.3

Medyo luma itong data na ito pero if ever may kunting pagbabago siguro sa ranking pero sa statistics, napakarami pa ring mahihirap. Sa tingin ninyo meron bang nabago since 2006?

This is election time. I do believe that the war on poverty can only be won through GOOD GOVERNANCE. I hope the Filipino voters particularly those in the poorest provinces will really vote wisely so that only those who can truly serve the poor will win.

Till my next bulbulablog..


Zoobic Safari

Monday, February 1, 2010

Zoobic Safari is a unique kind of nature park located deep in the so-called Ilanin Forest within the the Subic Freeport. Aside from the different animals (lots of them really), there is also an Aeta Trail where some Aetas would showcase their way of life particularly their arts and dances. There is also an animal museum but the main attraction of the zoo is its collection of tigers. In fact, the park is also known as Zoobic Tiger Safari.

The zoo is truly different from those in Metro Manila. Aside from the jungle setting with tall trees all around, visitors are allowed to interact with the animals like touching or feeding them.

For those who can not make it to the zoo, here are some photos of my visit to Zoobic Safari.
Zoobic tiger
Visitors can also observe at close range how tigers are fed with chicken.

Zoobic Camel
Sa wakas nakakita na ako ng buhay na camel kahit hindi pa ako nakatuntung sa Gitnang Silangan.

Birds of colorful feathers flock together here.

Feeding the goat with milk
Eeeek...give me my milk, says the little goat.

Crocodiles galore at the croco-loco section.

Inside the museum...

An Aeta
The aborigines of the Philippines are good care takers of nature. May we learn from them.

Hapon na, its time to go home.


Photos of Ocean Adventure at Subic

Friday, January 29, 2010

A great way perhaps to spend a weekend with family members or with friends is to visit Ocean Adventure at Subic Bay Freeport. Ocean adventure is a marine park located at Camayan Wharf at the former American Navy Base. As per information, this park is the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia.

It was a hot sunny day when we visited the park last Sunday. There were several groups of school children and some foreign tourists particularly Koreans. I was with pre-school kids. When we arrived, the children were very excited to see many monkeys roaming around the forest near the park.

The park was divided into sections. The first section that we entered was the aquarium. There lots of fishes and other sea creatures.

sealion show
This is the sealion show.

acrobat show
Then we were led by our guide to an open air mini amphitheater where the acrobat show was being held. The sun was already high but we enjoyed nevertheless the singing, dancing, and the spectacular acrobatic acts of two "imported" entertainers.

Then there was the sort of finale show right after lunch. Dolphins jumping and splashing, spinning, "walking on water", "running", and well feasting on fishes given by their trainors.

(I really have to apologize for posting the photos very late and very few because I am encountering internet connection problems. Grabe, so much time is wasted. Malapit ng mag-overflow ang baso. Pag nagkataon, magpapalit na ako ng ISP.)


Destination: Subic

Monday, January 25, 2010

bus from Island Discovery Tours
Yesterday, I had the privilege of joining the kids and parents from Sunshine Learning Center in their field trip to Subic Freeport in Zambales Province. The trip was serviced by Island Discovery Tours. Aside from the driver, three other personnel from the travel agency joined us in the bus. These were the trip supervisor, the storyteller/entertainer, and the "historian" whom I would learn later to be actually an engineer by profession.

It was not my first time to travel to Subic Freeport but my previous itinerary was limited to the commercial part of the former American navy base. This time I got to see Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Zafari and of course the much-talked-about tropical rainforest where monkeys, bats, and other forest animals abound.

While on the way, Paul, the entertainer, did not fail to amused me and the other passengers, I guessed. A sample of his joke was when he asked the children to mention what they saw on their left side and on their right side. Farms, houses, buildings, trees, street light, sky were all mentioned except one. When the children could not answer, he asked the parents who can't guess either. Then he shouted the "bus window" followed by a loud laugh! (Corny).

Then it was the turn of the "historian". He explained the basis of the number of kilometers which one sees on signposts beside any road. He also informed us about the different places that were being passed by such as Candaba Swamp which is frequented by birds from other countries, the city of San Fernando, how the province of Pampanga got its name, famous places, persons, and cuisine from pampanga. Sensing that he would fail to mention Mt. Arayat, I pointed out to him the famous mountain. (Ay may naitulong din pala ako.)

And then, while we were leaving San Fernando City, I waited for him to mention it as the capital of Pampanga but in vain so I uttered to him in a small voice as I was seated near him. He thanked me. Well, I just can't help but that I felt it was very important for the children to know more about Philippine Geography. Actually he was having fun communicating to the children about a television show which is being shot in Pampanga.

Pampanga Rice Farms
(Photo above shows rice farms in Pampanga which is part of Central Luzon Region, considered as the Rice Granary of the Philippines.

Tipo Tollgate
(This photo shows the Tipo Tollgate, the entrance to Subic Freeport Zone which is now connected to the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Tipo Expressway is a short tollway built during the Ramos Administration. It was built in time for the holding of the APEC Summit which was erroneously mentioned by the entertainer from the travel agency as ASEAN Summit.)

By and large, the bus trip was enjoyable as I was also seated with a very shy four-year old kid. From time to time I would strike a conversation with him.

(To be continued...)


Huwag Mo Akong Awayin

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sabi ng isang Kaibigan: most of the problems in this world start the moment one says "I Am Right". Once we say this, it necessarily means the others are wrong. Why can't we just express ourselves and that's all?

If we stop saying "I Am Right", then nobody is really right and therefore nobody is wrong. So there's no conflict. It follows then that there is no problem.

Do you agree with this assertion?


8,000,000 Witnesses?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There is this news item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (January 18, 2010, page A17)where reporters Jhunnex Napallacan and Chito Aragon quoted the police who said that the grand parade during the Sinulog Festival was witnessed by an estimated six to eight million people despite the incessant rain.

Six to Eight million? Even if it is just an estimate, the number is too big as to reflect an iota of truth. Consider the following: The whole of Cebu Province had a population of a little over 3.8 million in 2007, according to the National Statiscal Coordinating Board. Since this is 2010, perhaps the total population has already breached the 4 million mark.

Okay, let us take the lower estimate of 6 million. If this figure is to reflect reality, all the people of Cebu must have gone to watch the parade - that is including non-catholics, babies and old people from the remotest barangays (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 1). Then another two million tourists must have travelled to Cebu from other provinces and countries. Aha, imagine how many ships, boats, and airplanes used to ferry these number of people. Imagine also how many rooms (hotel or otherwise) were used by 2,000,000 bodies? (IMPOSSIBILITY NO. 2).

Sabihin natin, hindi naman lahat naghotel eh. Mayroon dyan dumating umaga tapos umuwi pagkatapos ng parade. Eh mayroong bang enough hotel rooms within Metro Cebu for 500,000 people? Masyadong Malaki pa rin.

You see 6 million doesn't hold water. How much more for 8 million?

So what if the estimate is bloated? Anong issue? Well the proper question should be: Why can't the police give a better estimate? Also, why did the journalists who are supposed to give us balanced news did not bother to question or correct the police estimate?

Why is there a need to exaggerate? Just asking...


I Am Happy

Friday, January 22, 2010

It is 1:30 in the morning. I just arrived home from a drinking session. You see I just met some friends who shared their ideas on how to be happy.

It may seem shallow to some but I am sure everyone wants to be happy. Yet how many times we end up being sad and sometimes even bitter?

These friends claimed that happiness is not found outside of us. Even love is not found anywhere. That is why it is useless to look for happiness or love beyond ourselves.

Consider these situations. If happiness is found in marriage, then all married people must be happy. But this is not true. If happiness is found in money, then all the rich people must be happy. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. If happiness is found in power, then all those in power, i.e. government officials, must be happy. Again, the current situation does not support this. If happiness is found in fame, then why is it that famous celebrities aren't the happiest people on earth?

The fact is, in whatever situation you are in, you can be truly happy. You just have to choose it! If you have difficulty in choosing to be happy, it is because you have not come to terms with yourself. First you have to love yourself and everything will fall in line!

So you want to be happy? Relax, just accept and love yourself as you are.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have always been a believer in the can-do spirit of Filipinos. We do have many innovative ideas on how to achieve development. Yet somehow and somewhere along the road to progress, we seem encounter setbacks after setbacks. Still we move on.

We have great thinkers and policy makers. We have good engineers and scientists. We also have bureaucrats with good intentions. And there are the private citizens who are willing to serve the country. Among them are the people who came up with Filipinnovation initiative.

Filipinnovation is simply a catchword referring to the strategy adopted by both government and private sector to make the Philippines an innovation hub. It aims, according to the Department of Science and Technology, "to increase industry productivity, to ensure an innovative environment, and to shape the national mind-set for a competitive innovation agenda."

The strategy is now on its third year of implementation. In support of this project, IBM Philippines opened recently its "Innovation Center" at its building in the UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub located right near the University of the Philippines Campus in Quezon City.

Another project of the Filipinnovation initiative is the launching of the electronic version of its magazine which will chronicle progress on the four major aspects of innovation namely: human capital, business incubation and acceleration, public policies, and the Filipino mindset.

More on this undertaking at Manila Bulletin.


Feast of the Black Nazarene

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quiapo Church
Every January 9 of each year is the Feast of the Image of the Black Nazarene. The center of the celebration is of course Quiapo Church in Manila City. This festival is perhaps the most popular festival in Metro Manila. According to newspaper reports, around 2 million people attended yesterday's celebration, the largest to date.

The Catholic Church in Quiapo is of course the home of the black image of the suffering Christ. The Quiapo Church is also called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. Here are some of the photos of the "Pista ng Poong Nazareno".

Feast of the Black Nazarene
Quezon Avenue is filled with devotees, kibitzers, and media people.

image of the Black Nazarene Festival
Devotees have been waiting for many hours for the carriage to pass by.

Images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Finally the carriage bearing the real (original) image is making headway inch by inch.

Procession of the Black Nazarene
There is pushing and shoving to touch the rope (lubid) that is connected to the carriage. Devotees believe that by just touching the rope, their prayers would be answered. Hence by all means sinisiguro nila na mahipo man lang iyong lubid kahit minsan isang taon. Iyon ang kanilang "panata" which I would translate as "covenant".

images of the Black Nazarene Festival
This boy wants to touch the image with a white handkerchief. Well, would you literally step on others head and shoulders just to get what you want?

images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Tired but with faith renewed?

Images of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene
What does it feel to sit on the throne? and to have women as your disciples?

Images of the Black Nazarene Festival
Business as usual. Make money while there is opportunity.


Mona's Cat

Friday, January 8, 2010


I am not fond of pets but I have a friend who is very much interested in domesticated animals especially cats. One time I visited Mona in her office and I was surprised to see a cat playing on the floor. Without much hesitation, I brought out my camera and began to take some shots. The photo above is one of them.

In between conversation with my friend, I would glance at the cat. I was not actually feeling well at the time. Yet the cat was making me smile with its tricks and turns. Then it dawn upon me the thought that this cat does not work nor does it worry about anything. I was thinking how lucky this cat is because somebody is taking care of him! Somebody loves this cat! I felt all my worries at that time vanished. Could this be a moment of illumination?

If this cat is taken cared of, what about me? What about the street children like those in the photo below?

Street children


Carabao Vs. Boracay Islands

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Map of Boracay and Carabao Island

The Philippines is truly blessed with many beautiful places particularly stunning beaches. Who have not heard of world-famous Boracay Island? This so-called crown jewel of Philippine tourist spots is considered one of the best beaches in the world today. What about Carabao Island? An interesting article in the Panorama Magazine proclaimed this island as the next Boracay.

In the article, it claimed that Carabao Island has a longer and more beautiful beach. Moreover, it is unspoiled unlike Boracay where it is now congested. An international airport is now being constructed by private investors.

In the map above, you will see the location of Carabao Island which is very near Boracay Island. Carabao Island is part of Romblon Province while Boracay belongs to Aklan Province. You will also see the location of Caticlan, the jump-off point to Boracay. Further down to the southeast is Kalibo, the capital of Aklan.

Just for your information, there is already an existing international airport in Kalibo. According to newspaper reports, another international airport will start construction this January in Caticlan. My concern is, Why build three (3) international airports near each other? Caticlan is less than an hour drive from Kalibo and Carabao Island is only 30 minutes boatride from Boracay. If a superhighway will be built between Kalibo and Caticlan, travel time will be cut into 30 minutes or less.

If there is so much money to be spent in building 3 international airports, why not construct only one but make sure it will be as great as Changi Airport in Singapore or that of Hongkong?

Anyway, I am sure there are many places in the country with good tourism potential but with no airport yet. Consider Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur, Bicol. Or Calicoan Island in Eastern Samar Province.

What I see here is a mad rush by politicians to have projects built in their home turf without considering the feasibility of these projects and their implication to the over all national development of the country.


Mga Messages sa Nu Yir

Sunday, January 3, 2010

May isang kaibigan na walang humpay na nagpapadala ng mensahe na kanyang nakalap naman mula sa kanyang mga kaibigan. Narito ang ilan sa kanyang pinadala:

1. Mga dapat sundin para di madisgrasya sa paputok:
- Huwag kumuha ng naputukan, baka mapikot ka.
- Alisin agad pag malapit ng pumutok.
- Kung naputukan, dali daling hugasan. Baka madala pa sa hugas.
- Huwag magpaputok sa mataong lugar, nakakahiya.
- Magtanong kung safe bago magpaputok. Pag safe, saka iputok.
- Be safe, Hapi New Year.

2. Ngayong natapos na ang O'NINE, naway labasan ka ng maraming tagumpay at swerte sa pagpasok ng O'TEN. Isang masagana at malaking O'TEN ang hangad ko sayo.

3. Para di malasin sa bagong taon, wag isali ang ice cream, matutunaw ang swerte. Wag isali ang manok, lilipad ang swerte. Wag isali ang isda, malulunod swerte. Wag isali baboy, tatakbo swerte. Wag na lang kayang maghanda?


1. May the spirit of the changing seasons gives us new meaning to realize a relevant paradigm shift towards the quantum leap of faiththat is unfolding.

2. It is the ending of a season and a new beginning. Happy new year!

3. Best wishes for 2010! Success in all levels! So be it in partnership with the Divine Absolute!

4. Abundant graces, Abundant blessings. No calamity is worse than discontentment. Happy New year!

5. Receive seeds from the garden of daily living and follow this instructions:
- 3 rows of peas - peaceof mind, heart, and soul.
- 4 rows of squash - squash gossip, indifference, grumbling, and selfishness.
- 6 rows of lettuce - lettuce be faithful, kind, patient, generous, humble and lettuce really love one another

*** To enhance your garden here is the seed of time: time for God, family, and friends. Water regularly with patience, cultivate with love and there will be much fruit in your garden. Remember, you reap what you sow. Happy planting not only today but always.



Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day dreaming is different from having a dream. Daydreaming is dreaming and doing nothing to achieve the dream. But to have a dream means to have some kind of goal that is achievable in the near term or in the long run.

I wrote in my profile that I am a dreamer. I have many dreams. Or rather I have too many dreams. Is it bad? Please forgive me if I think it is not. After all, buhay ko ito, ika nga. And remember, libre lang ang mangarap!

I was taught in my childhood to have a dream because it is disastrous not to have one. Later, I read in some inspirational books that the first step to success is to have a dream. Then have a plan. Then execute that plan. Then persevere. And so on.

Looking back now, I would say the result is mixed. I achieved some but I have stumbled a lot. Looking forward, I am hopeful that the other goals I have set for myself will soon be realized.

It is in this context that I would say it was Susan Boyle who inspired me a lot in 2009. (Sorry folks if you haven't heard of this lady. Well, she lived to see her dream being realized even in the most unkindly environment at past middle age!) Oh di ba, hindi pa huli ang lahat...Sana nga.


Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Today I give thanks to my creator and to all the spiritual masters for all the blessings I received last year. Whatever happened in the year that has just passed, good or bad, I release them all. I forgive everyone and I ask forgiveness for whatever bad I did and whatever good I did not do.

Today I welcome the new year with gratitude and hope. I am grateful because I am given another year as an opportunity to continue my mission on earth. I am hopeful that this year will be peaceful, prosperous, and "pioneering". The last word refers to new experiences, new places to visit, new people to meet, and new things to try. But above all, since I become older, I hope to learn new lessons - to acquire new habits that would eliminate the bad ones.

Ah new year's resolution? Year in and year out I made one or two. Many times I failed. But I have learned to accept my shortcomings. The best thing is I tried to be become "better". Somebody told me there is no need to become better. Let us just accept who we are or what we are.

Well, acceptance is one thing. Striving to be what you want to be is an option. We are all responsible for our decisions anyway. As for me, life is what I make it. I listen to what others tell me but at the end of the day, I still decide on my own.

To all of you dear friends and visitors, thank you for being there. I wish all of you peace, joy, more blessings this new year.


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