Thursday, January 31, 2008

What Is News?

What is news? My journalist mentors have a common definition of what news is.

When a dog bites a man it is a medical emergency.
When a man bites a dog that's news!

RP Has Two Prexies In UN's Most Corrupt Leaders List

If being corrupt is something to be proud of then Filipinos should rejoice because it has two presidents in the United Nations List Of Top 10 Most Corrupt Leaders in the world, released during the UN anti-corruption conference being held in Indonesia.

The Philippines was bested only by the late Indonesian President Suharto who topped the list with an ammased wealth of $15 to P35 billion. The country's own President Ferdinand Marcos came second with an amassed wealth of $5 to $10 billion.

Former president Joseph Estrada said he will sue the UN (no, not for placing him in the 10th place as the most corrupt leader with an amassed wealth of $78 to $80 million instead of the 1st ha!ha!)but for the baseless accusation. If conviction for plunder in 2007 is not basis enough then something must be wrong somewhere.

Estrada was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for plunder with a 40-year prison terms. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court.

The complete list of the UN Top 10 Most Corrupt World Leaders:
1. Suharto of Indonesia
2. Ferdinand Marcos-Philippines
3. Mobutu Sese Seko-Zaire
4. Sani Abacha-Nigeria
5. Slobodan Milosevic-Serbia
6. Jean Claude Duvalier-Haiti
7. Alberto Fujimori-Peru
8. Pavlo Lazarenko-Ukraine
9. Arnoldo Aleman- Nicaragua
10.Joseph Estrada-Philippines

Does College Pay?

Does College Pay? Not always. When you join the rat race and you have to make a living, it does not matter whether you have an ATTY., a masteral or a Ph.D in your name. What matters is the ability to look for opportunities and the ability to survive.

A College Degree is good for display in your living room. Of course, when you first apply for a job, it does help if you can present a transcript of records with very high grades. It will impress anyone. But after a few months, it's what you know and not what's on paper that matters. And in most cases, what you know is not measured by the grades in your TOR.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Davao City To Lose P194M In IRA With HB 24 Approval

Davao City is set to lose P194 million in its Internal Revenue Allotment with the approval of House Bill 24.
HB 24, which was authored by Representative Ann Hofer of Zamboanga Sibugay, will result to the creation of 28 capital, towns into new cities even if they do not meet the P100 million locally generated income every year as provided under the Local Government Code.
Davao City had an IRA of P1.792 billion in 2007. This would have been increased to P2.055 billion in 2008.
"With the creation of new cities, the increase in the city's IRA would only amount to P69 million," councilor Peter Lavina said Tuesday.
He said this amount would have been enough to build the Sports Complex or the City College.

Huli Ka!

If I had a hundred peso reward for every private-yellow-license-plate-bearing-taxi I get on camera then I say that's a great alternative to being a problogger because it would provide me a regular source of income on a daily basis.

That one way of saying that there are SOOOOO MANYYY taxicabs in the city bearing a green license plate which should only be used by private vehicles. Turns out that the Land Transportation Office is so inept its personnel couldn't see these taxicabs even if the cabs run pass their noses everyday.

Keith Bacongco himself spotted a Mabuhay Taxi bearing a green license plate. I caught this one, I think it’s an Alleyaa (did I get the spelling right?) on this photo last Tuesday and that’s not even the whole story. A few minutes after passing that taxi, I saw two taxis parked along the side of the Matina highway---bearing green license plates. And then another one in Juna after 5 minutes. I did not bother getting their photos anymore. It's tiring, you know especially when its the people at the LTO who are getting paid for the job I was doing.

Wednesday Movie Guide

Alvin and Chipmunks is finally here! We've (the other part of we being "B") been waiting for this movie since Christmas last year. I was wondering why the cinemas kept on postponing the showing of the movie during the Holiday season when it was very fitting with the times. It was even shown in Manila theaters ahead.

We have had Alvin and the Chipmunks playing in our CD for several years already it would be nice to finally meet the gang that made us laugh even just in audio.

Well, I hope Alvin and the Chipmunks is well worth the wait.

Alvin and the Chipmunks (G)
SM Cinema 2 11:50/13:40/15:30/17:20
NCCC CInema 2 12:00/2:00/4:00/6:00

John Rambo (R13)
SM Cinema 6 11:20/13:1515:1017:05
NCCC Cinema 3 12:25/2:20/4:15/6:10

I Could Never Be Your Woman (PG13)
SM Cinema 3 12:10/13:55/15:40/17:25
NCCC Cinema 4 12:00/2:00/4:00/6:00

Alien vs Predator is on an extended run at both SM and NCCC Cinemas.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

US-based Group Spends $20M For Davao Medical Mission

No less than $20 million was spent by over 220 volunteers from the Philippine Medical Mission Society of Northern California to help Dabawenyos with various medical conditions.

Members of the PMSNC, who conducted a 4-day medical mission in the city from January 21 to 25, 2007, shouldered their own airfare and accommodation, brought their own hospital equipment and rendered free services to almost 10 thousand Dabawenyos during the mission.

Among the medical services provided by the group are dental, medical and eye check up as well as minor and major operations including an open heart surgery (which would normally cost P500,000) and pacemaker insertion (which costs P300,000). The group also gave away free eyeglasses for those with eye problems.

Now, this is what I call giving back a portion of your blessings. The Philippines need more of these people. A lot of Filipinos who have made it big in the United States have shared their blessings to their fellow Filipinos in terms of school building and facilities, medical mission, scholarships and monetary aid.

Those who have made it big in the Philippines should follow suit.

The Need For Prescription Glasses

I have always been a voracious reader since I was a kid. Add to that my passion for watching movies. These factors may be the reasons why I have defective vision. I could not see things several feet away from me. This has been my problem in school so I was always the student who preferred the front rows.

I used to wear correction glasses but my eye doctor said its no longer enough for my requirements. Contacts doesn't work for me primarily because my eyes wouldn't accept them---don't know why but I they just wouldn't go in. So here I am scouting for a nice pair of prescription glasses so I wouldn't have to squint anymore when updating this blog.

Luckily, Zenni Optical: Sell Rx Glasses $8 with case!. The trendy prescription glasses I found at ZenniOptical lifted my spirits since I did not want to use glasses that would make me older than my real age. Most prescription glasses can make you look really old and witch-like and that does not appeal to me. What would Hilary Clinton look like if she did not have access to those killer prescription glasses she wears during the US primary?

The variety of frames available at ZenniOptical amazed me. I also want to check out their sunsensor or photochromic lenses which darkens when exposed to sunlight and lightens when you are back indoors. I am a heavy computer uses so this might also help me.

What makes ZenniOptical ideal for me aside form the wide selection of frames and lenses is the amazingly low prices since they manufacture the frames they sell so no additional price at all. I'll check this out before talk of politics and daily issues blur my vision.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Huli Ka!

The Land Transportation Office seems to be slacking it out. A Mabuhay Taxi with green license plates has been caught on camera several weeks ago. Another taxi unit, this time owned by Holiday, has been caught on cam again just last Saturday, along Central Bank at Quirino Avenue.

From hereon, DatelineDavao will be spying on private and public utility vehicles violating the LTO law as well as other environmental laws, try to catch them on cam and post such violations here, with the hope that the LTO will finally catch up with these people.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How To Make Buying Convenient For Website Clients

I've been surfing the net lately for a few kitchen gadgets that will help me with my cake and catering business. Most of the sites I visited had very functional kitchen gadgets which made me salivate but sad to say, I encountered several difficulties like the absence of a shopping cart which would have made purchasing a breeze.

Funny how some sites forget the importance of getting a shopping cart software like the one being offered by Ashop Commerce. Online selling and buying for that matter, would be easier and more convenient if merchants prioritize the shopping cart feature so that buyers like me can just click on the shopping cart image or link without having to click on different pages just to get my order in.

I also have plans of setting up an online store and you bet my first priority would be to get a shopping cart software to encourage buyers to just click and buy. No sweat.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

SC Take On Libel Unconstitutional?

How many members of the 4th Estate have spent sleepless nights in and out of jail thinking about their existing libel case, their libel conviction or their libel cases just sleeping in court?

Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynaldo Puno issued a circular yesterday reminding judges of the higher court's preference for the imposition of fines in libel cases instead of imprisonment. However, chief legal counsel Sergio Apostol said it is unconstitutional as the circular would in effect amend the libel law. Under the separation of powers principle, it is Congress that has the authority to amend laws unless it refers to the Rules of Court which falls under the jurisdiction of the SC.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales however said it is not illegal because the SC did not impinge on Congress' rights to amend the Revised Penal Code as the circular did not change the provision of Article 355 (Crime of Libel) of the RPC.

But whether the circular is constitutional or not, who would declare it unconstitutional? Only the SC has the final say and from what I learned in Law School, it will never declare its own circular unconstitutional.

There are pending bills in Congress that seeks to decriminalize libel. In fact, this was one of the concerns of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he was still 1st District Congressman.

While the executive and the judicial branches of the government argue their points, the media is left with their palms empty and their long-time request of decriminalizing libel still gathering dust in Congress.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Will Movie Theaters Survive The Internet?

Will movie theaters survive the Internet? This is the 24-dollar question being floated around today by those who acknowledge the strength of the World Wide Web. Indeed, the Web has become the new boob tube. The Internet even offer movies rights in the comforts of your home or your office.

But why fear that when some naysayers predicted before the death of movie theaters with the popularity of Betamax and then the VHS and then the CD's and the DVD's. Now comes Internet rentals. You know why the movie theaters will stay? It's because it's a different experience, watching movies in a big screen. Unless of course you are one of the lucky ones who can afford the new 150-inch plasma TV by Samsung.

Will PGMA Stay In Burj Al Arab?

More Filipinos will not be able to sleep tonight. Not for thinking about their economic plight but because of thoughts that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo might have the gall to stay at the Burj Al Arab, one of the most expensive hotels in Dubai and in the world, where an overnight stay can cost from $1,770 (P70,800) for a basic suite to as much as $10,890 (P435,600) for the Royal Suite.

Hundreds (if they have not reached the thousand mark already) of Dabawenyos are working in Dubai's lavish hotels and restaurants. Majority of them get a monthly salary of P13,000 for working in restaurants with shifting schedules leaving them sleepless and suffering from ulcer. Others who are not as lucky get less.

In the Philippines, P70,800 can be used to pay for the first two years in school of a college student enrolled in a private school. In the Philippines, P435,600 can mean a low cost home for a homeless family.

The Burj Al Arab is a 1,000 foot hotel that boasts of gold-plated interiors as well as butler service and a size 42" plasma TV for every room. Before sleeping, guests will have difficulty which of the 13 options in their pillow menu they will choose.

If you doubt its grandeur, see this YouTube of Federer & Agassi on the world's highest tennis court.

If PGMA decides to sleep in Burj Al Arab, I pray she gets a good night's sleep.

Kumander Bucay Finally Free After 23 Years

Norberto Manero, Jr. aka Kumander Bucay has been set free at 5:35 p.m. today following the signing of his release papers by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales. Manero and two of his brothers were convicted in 1987 for the killing of Italian priest Fr. Tulio Favali in 1985.

The infamous Manero brothers were former members of the Integrated Civilian Home Defense Force (ICHDF), a defunct paramilitary group. However, they became infamous (somehow a legend in Mindanao) as members of the Ilaga Group who fought Muslim insurgents in the 1970s .

Manero's prison term was commuted by then President Fidel V. Ramos from 40 to 24 years. Former President Joseph Estrada granted him a conditional pardon in December 1999 but was quick to revoke it in March 2000 after he was accused of the 1977 killing Ali and Mambawatan Mamalumpong. The Sarangani Regional Trial Court however dismissed the case in 2002, making him eligible for the commutation.

Manero's two brothers were released in 2003 after serving 18 years of their sentence while Norberto served a total of 23 years.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dateline Davao Squad?

Passed by this eatery on my way to Chimes and I could not help but smile at the following signs. Below is a tarpaulin of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and on top is the store's signage---DDS SUTOKIL. In Davao, DDS is the abbreviation given to the Davao Death Squad (name is self explanatory) which has been blamed for the summary killing of people involved in the drug business.

Despite his constant denial that the government does not have anything to do with the DDS, Duterte has been blamed, rather praised, for the summary killing of drug users and pushers in the city.

SuToKiL can mean Shoot To Kill to any American but in Davao, it means SUgba, Tinola and KILawin.

Get the drift?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday Movie Guide

National Treasure is now on its third week at NCCC Cinema 2. The movie leads the Top 10 Box Office Hits (US and Canada) with a weekly ticket sales of $36.5 million. National Treasurer has earned an estimated $199 million as of January 21, since its release last December 2007.

Will Smith's I am Legend, number 3 in the Top 10 Box Office List, is not on its second week here in Davao City. It's amazing how Smith can hold almost the whole movie with only himself and his dog Sam as the active characters (if you don't count the zombies). Not surprising though considering his antiques in MIB. But this time, Smith plays a different character, that of a military doctor trying to find a cure for a virus (to which he is immune) and trying to stay sane in his aloneness.

Aliens vs Predator (R13)
SM Cinema 1 11:25/13:20/15:15/17:10

NCCC Cinema 1 12:00/2:00 4:00/6:00

Elizabeth The Golden Age (PG13)
SM Cinema 2 11:20/14:30/16:40/1850

Rendition (R13)
SM Cinema 3 12:20/14:30/16:40/18:50

NCCC Cinema 4 12:20/4:25/5:10/7:35

Catacombs (R13)
SM Cinema 4 12:15/14:00/15:45/17:30

Martian Child (GP)
SM Cinema 5 12:20/14:30/16:40/18:50

I am Legend (PG13)
SM Cinema 6 11:05/13:00/15:00/17:00
NCCC Cinema 3 12:00/2:00/4:00/6:00

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Web: Is It The Next Boob Tube?

Do you know that one in every three American adults have given up their friends and even their sex lives for the Web? Well, it seems that this phenomenon is not exclusive to the Americans but also to people from all over the globe. Even people from emerging economies like the Philippines and India are becoming web freaks.

Television has been blamed for breaking relationships and even families but it seems television is slowly being replaced by the Internet. The television has not been called the boob tube for nothing. In fact, it is a shortcut for IDIOT BOX, a name given by those who believed that majority of the programs being shown on television are foolish.

But who can blame people for wanting to spend endless days and nights in front of the computer when the world is virtually in their hands? The World Wide Web has also become one of the most accessible venues for income opportunities.

A lot of people can no longer survive one day without the Web. Are you one of us?

Is Higher Education Still Necessary Today?

Would your lives be different if you have taken a different course in College? Despite the reality that economic salvation for people living in third world countries like the Philippines lies in going abroad, a lot of Filipinos still prefer to get white collar courses so they can get white collar jobs after graduation. To their chagrin, those who took up the not-so white collar courses ended up working in foreign countries with to-die-for salaries.

But who is to blame these people? While blue collar jobs command respect and higher salaries in foreign countries, the same types of jobs are not only frowned upon in 3rd world countries but they are also at the lowest end of the salary bracket.

PDEA: All Talk, No Teeth In Fight VS Drug Lords

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency or PDEA has once again released the names of the alleged 5 drug lords in Maguindanao. Almost the same names have been released by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2006 but no one has been arrested up to now.

PDEA Central Mindanao chief Amado Tana identified the five drug lords as: Sultan Kudarat (Marcos Fatima Baliwan and Black Moro), North Cotabato (Maghanoy), Maguindanao (Montawal) and Cotabato City (Kagui Lao). Of the five, Tana said, only Black Moro has been neutralized.

Cotabato Anti-Drug Task Force chairman Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Piñol castigated the PDEA for its failure to arrest and have the drug lords convicted in court despite the fact that they have already been identified. The drug enforcers do not even have photos of the suspected drug lords.

Does Email Marketing Irritate You?

You are sleeping. Or perhaps, a sudden idea has just enlightened you and you are about to write that Palanca-winning story. Suddenly, your Mobile plays that "Humanap Ka Ng Pangit" ringtone which you use for your text messages.You hurry up to see the important message and you forget all the task at hand. When you looked at your inbox, it says: Subscribe to Smart's (or Globe's whichever service you prefer) new ringtones and get bla-bla-bla..."How would you feel?

Mobile service providers should not take advantage of the control they have over your messages. In the first place, SMS is not a free service so they do not have a right to send any marekting message at all unless the user has subscribed or has indicated his willingness to receive such messages.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why PTA's are significant

I have never realized the importance of Parents-Teachers Associations or PTAs until now. Public schools and big private schools have PTA's to serve as a sounding board of opinions and regulate the activities or fees imposed by the school. Ateneo de Davao had so many problems but they were all voices out (most were settled) through the PTA.

Here comes one private school in Matina (which the main school near the downtown area) charging P100 for the class photos of the kids (including one 2x2 in B&W and one 4R). That's easy enough to shell out but if you know how much the prevailing rate is then you would really question the rate. Of course, the rate is pretty cheap if the studio tasked to get the class photos is Lito Sy. Otherwise, its pretty overpriced.

A group of concerned parents wrote a letter of request to the school requesting a lowering of the rates. The school in-charge talked to them saying it's too late to back out ow as they have already signed a contract with the photo studio. The parents said they can recommend other photographers (with lighting and other equipment also but cheaper) but the one in charge said it's too late. The parents were also blamed for not volunteering such information when they had a copy of the school's activity. Funny. How can the parents suggest when they were only told the price two days before the actual shoot.

One parent asked for an official receipt form the studio. The teacher said they will not issue individual receipts because they already gave a package receipt to the school. Some of those who paid ahead got a receipt all right, but not official at all. Calling BIR!

The parents were one in saying that the school should inform the parents in advance of the rates by sending them letter necessitating replies. The answer was so far negative saying some parents do not really send back replies. But that's the lookout of the parents. If they don't reply then they forfeit their right to complain.

The letter elicited a lot of reaction, most of them negative, from the school with the teachers calling the signatories one by one, now and then, to comment on the matter. Why not call a general meeting to get the consensus of the whole body?

Now, I understand why PTA's are significant.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Merco Bolton Extends Buy 1 Take 1 Ice Cream Promo

Dabawenyos are trekking to Merco Bolton not only for their usual fill of specialty ice cream but for the Buy 1 Take 1 Fruit and Ice Cream Festival. The Festival was supposed to be from January 1 to 15 only but the promo was extended. The staff of Merco Bolton could not however say the exact dates of the extension but the last time we were there (that's Saturday January 19), the promo was still on.

Take your pick at the following "Buy 1 Take 1" ice cream specialties:
Watermelon Basket P110
Buco Salad Sundae P 82
Lover's Delight P 94
Fruit Salad Sundae P 60
Banana Split P 82
Chocolate Parfait P 78

You can also avail of the Buy 2 Take 1 promo for Special Halo Halo or Maiz Con Hielo.

Merco has been in Davao City for a long time now. I still remember our family eating sessions at Merco when I was still a child. The in demand drink then was ChocoVim (now i'm revealing my age). It's like the Magnolia Chocolate Milk the kids love now, not in Tetra Pak but in a big bottle.

People's Park Exclusive To Davao's Senior Citizens On February 16

Acting Mayor Sara Duterte has reserved the controversial People's Park for the exlusive use of Davao City's senior citizens on February 16 for their Valentine Day celebration.
Duterte said she has already committed the park to the senior citizens so they will also be able to enjoy the park facilities on this special day.

How Open Are You About Inheritance And Investment Possibilities?

Is Investing Only For The Rich? No matter how I want to say "NO" to this question, there is something inside me that says "of course yes!" Ideally, everyone should invest to allow their assets to grow. But what will you invest if you barely have money for even the basic necessities like good, clothing and shelter?

Of course investing is an opportunity that is open to everybody and we should take advantage of it whenever possible. But if we are to be practical and honest about it, it is true that only the rich are able to invest because they have extra money just sitting around.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Senator Revilla Takes Councilor Zozobrado's Local Ordinance To The Senate

The late councilor Jesus Zozobrado may be smiling in his grave today knowing that someone in the Senate is making sure that an ordinance he laid down in the local level will be followed nationwide.

Zozobrado authored an ordinance requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Aside from banning children below 7 years old from riding motorcycles, the ordinance also mandated that only two people be allowed to ride motorcycles to avoid accidents.

Barely two years after the implementation of the local ordinance, here comes Senator Bong Revilla with Senate Bill 1863 requiring the wearing of standard helmets for all motorcycle drivers and the back rider for all types of trips.

While this policy is already incorporated in the Land Transportation Office rules, it has gained much popularity when Zozobrado took the challenge of penalizing the local habal-habals and other motorcycles that did not follow the ordinance. Some of his peers believed it was political suicide but knowing the late councilor who never backed away from a challenge, it was a small price to pay for the safety of the Dabawenyos.

At least 45% of the total vehicles registered in the country comprise of motorcycles. Latest figures show there are 3.5 million registered motorcycles throughout the country but the number is expected to go up. It is alarming to note that 24% of the 11,425 accidents in 2005 and 35% of the total traffic accidents during the first two months of 2006 involved motorcycles.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Is Investing Only For The Rich?

I blog for a wealth creation site and one of the lessons I learned from there is that you need three things to create wealth. First, you need land. Second, you need some sort of business that can provide you income even while sleeping or lounging around. Third, you need to learn to look for new ways to recreate wealth.

Most people especially in the Philippines barely have enough money for their daily subsistence. They are lucky if they have a little left to be called savings. Where do they get money for investment in this case?

Easy for Warren Buffet to teach people about wealth creation when he has enough capital and opportunity to start with. But wasn't he the one who said people should look for an opportunity to create wealth?

Smorty vs. Payperpost

There seems to be an unwritten rule that require bloggers to choose between Smorty and Payperpost. I was just wondering why all (READ: ALL) the writing opportunities I get from smorty indicate that this offer is not available for those who have payperpost articles or payperpost advertisements on their sites. Funny because prior to signing up with payperpost all the offers I got did not have that caveat.

Smorty and Payperpost are only among the few methods available to bloggers who want to monetize their blogs. Smorty pays fast but there are only few opportunities available. Aside from that, most of the opportunities are only worth $6 each. Payperpost waits for one month (I think) before they release your payment but they have varying offers. I even saw an opportunity worth $50 once but the problem here is you have to grab the offer fast (if you can catch them at all) or wait for the next one to come. There are plenty of opportunities in the site but most of them limited to those based in the US and other foreign countries.

I asked the smorty people about this and they responded saying they could not control the requirements of their advertisers. I just feel that something strange is going on here because I checked all the previous offers I got and nothing about the payperpost prohibition was indicated.

Does it mean we bloggers have to choose between Smorty and Payperpost after all?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Price Of Onion Up Due To lack Of Supply From India

The price of onion, known locally as sibuyas, continues to rise even after the holidays. Traders blame the steep prices of onions to the lack of supply from India. India, one of the main exporter of onions to the world market, is experiencing heavy floods thus explaining the dwindling supply from them.

Onion used to cost P40 to P50 only last September, 2007 but increased to P100 per kilo during the Christmas season. The present market price of onion in Davao City is however between P150 to P250 depending on which market you are buying your supply from. Traders at the Mintal market are selling their onions at P2oo to P250 per kilo while those at the Bagsakan near Bankerohan market are selling onions at a cheaper (but still high) price of P140 to P180 per kilo.

Even Malaysia is complaining about the high prices of onion prompting Datuk Patrick Sindu, president of the Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan to call for the investigation of the 100% increase in the price of onions. Onion is a controlled item in the area. Traders however cited the dwindling supply of onion from India as the culprit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday Movie Guide

The Queen is back! And with a vengeance.

I thought I was seeing double when I was told there's a new Elizabeth movie. And why not when I already watched that in 1998. Turns out that the new "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" is already part II. The first one being the Academy Award winning "Elizabeth" which was shown in 1998 (minus Joseph Fiennes). Another thing which made me look twice is the fact that both Elizabeth movies starred my favorite Cate Blanchett but she looked different in both posters, the second and newest one looked more like a Joan of Arc than an Elizabeth. I still have to watch part 2 tonight but the first was a great movie. A real tearjerker with lots of history. This is what I like about movies like these--include National Museum, National Treasure, 300, etc---they give us a not-so boring detail of history. However, make sure you do some research as some of the history depicted in the movies may be twisted after all.

It seems the National Treasure (NCCC Mall only) and Bee Movie are still showing at SM cinemas 1 and 3 respectively so you can still catch them. Here's the movie schedule for this week. One of Datelinedavao's visitors asked why there's no Gaisano Mall listing here---will try to do that when I have more time to go to Bajada.

Elizabeth The Golden Age
SM Cinema 2 12:20/14:30/16:40/18:50
NCCC Cinema 4 12:40 /3:00 /5:20/7:40

Martian Child
SM Cinema 5 12:20/14:30/16:40/18:50

I am Legend
SM Cinema 6 11:0513:0015:0017:00

NCCC Cinema 3 12:00 / 2:00 / 4:00 / 6:00

Earn Extra With PayPerPlay

You may have heard of pay per click--that's a marketing/advertising scheme where you earn for every click on an advertisement on your site. But what if no one clicks the ad? No income for you.

But here's a revolutionary system which allows you to earn even without any affirmative action from your readers or visitors. I’m talking about Net Audio Ads Pay Per Play advertising system. The ads do not take any space in your blog or site because your visitors hear them once they visit your site. Remember, they don't need to click on anything for your to earn. Don't worry because the ads that will be played is related to your site and it will not irritate your readers as the 5-second audio will only be played once.

If you think the television is the greatest think that happened to advertising then you better think again. Research shows that more people are looking at the Internet than on TV. Thus, advertisers are slowly shifting their ad strategies to the World Wide Web. You can earn in three ways:

1. Direct PPP
Copy the PPP code on your site where you want the ads to play and earn 25% of the money spent by advertisers for that pay per play ads
2. Referrals
Refer PPP to people who have Internet presence (this means they have a website, blog, etc.) and earn 5% of what their advertisers spent in running the ads on your referred website
3. Earn from your referral's referral
If the person you referred got another person to host PPP ads then you also earn 5% from his PPP website earnings.

Advertisers will start bidding on February 8, 2008 for sites where they want their ads to be heard. So what are you waiting for? Grab this opportunity while it's hot!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mini Firetrucks For Cito Beltran

The recent controversy involving government firefighters and private volunteer firefighters brought to light how ill-equipped and how inept this supposedly safety and prevention agency we call Bureau of Fire Protection. The BFP once again got entangled in this messy word war with a private volunteer fire fighting group on the issue of water.

The inability of the BFP was the issue in Cito Beltran's January 8 column in the Philippine Star. As Cito said, "why should we pay for their services when there are volunteer groups that are more efficient in providing firefighting skills?" One of the reasons cited by the BFP for its failure to immediately respond to emergencies is the state of our roads. "If the roads are narrow then why can't they get smaller firetrucks to get in" Beltran added.

This reminded me of the tiny firetrucks of Davao City 1st District Representative Prospero Nograles. The teeny weeny firetrucks have been the butt of jokes and sarcasm here in the city but come to think of it, isn't this what Beltran was referring to?

Of the P52.61 billion budget allotted for the Department of Interior and Local Government for 2008, only P4.88B will go to the BFP. Unfortunately, the agency's budget seems not enough to pay for additional firefighting equipment and protective gears for the firefighters who are facing their lives on the line every time they respond to an emergency.
Is higher education still practical today? I have seen a lot of people with masters or even other degrees tucked in their belt but they have not really learned how to make their lives better financially. If you have a college degree in the US then that would mean lots of opportunities. But in the Philippines, hey!

Monday, January 14, 2008

VM Shows Iron Fist With Grace

(Acting Mayor) Vice Mayor Sara Duterte yesterday showed the Dabawenyos that she can have an iron fist just like her father Mayor Rodrigo Duterte but with a touch of grace, after she challenged a local billboard company to sue her for ordering the dismantling of a billboard located in SIR, Matina after it failed to comply with the required government permits.

Duterte was advised by the City Legal Office to sue the company but considering the slow bureaucratic process, she said it would be better to just order the demolition of the billboard. She said they can sue her in turn.

The company was given 3 days to dismantle the billboard. Otherwise, it would be the City Engineer's responsibility to dismantle the billboard at the expense of the owner. She however urged the barangay people to do the dismantling themselves and sell the steel and other materials they can salvage if the company fails to to comply with the order.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Suspicious PayPal Phising Emails On The Rise

Dabawenyo bloggers and those who are using PayPal for Ebay and other transactions should watch out for suspicious PayPal emails.

I just got one from asking me to update my account following this link "" or face account cancellation.

I wrote PayPal and verified if the said email came from them and as suspected, it was a phising email. The response was very fast--no more than 5 minutes from the time I sent the query.

Phising is an illegal way of acquiring information which can lead to identity theft. The people behind this can get hold of important financial information about the victim and make life miserable for him.

With the availability of PayPal to Dabawenyos (generally to the Philippines), it is also expected that more people will get phising emails like this. If you get suspicious PayPal emails then please send a query to

2008 US Presidential Elections

The 2008 Presidential elections (and all US presidential elections for that matter) should be of interest to Filipinos. And why not when most overseas filipino workers are stationed in the US, thousands of Filipinos have migrated to the US already and there are millions more who want to migrate to the US given the chance.

When America sniffs, the Philippines coughs. That's how dependent we are to the the milk of land and honey. So see which of your US presidential candidates will most likely win the race and look at his policy on immigration and hiring of foreigners. Most probably, it will mean a lot to you or somebody in your family.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Taxing Text Messages For White Elephant Projects Like The Artica Sports Dome?

People from foreign countries use their mobile phones to call each other even for non important reasons. Filipinos however text each other endlessly, making the country the world's texting capital with over 1.39 billion sent by only 50 million SMS subscribers. This makes the proposed text messaging tax unpalatable even to Davao City councilors.

Councilor Rachel Zozobrado is against the proposal saying it is an unreasonable and additional burden to the Filipinos. The same sentiment was raised by councilor Pilar Braga. Councilor Peter Laviña is however against the proposal not only because of the government's promise not to impose new taxes but because the government should tax the rich people and big corporation.

With the proposed P0.50 tax per text message, the government is expected to raise P36 billion in specific excise taxes plus P41 billion in VAT collections---all to be used for projects including the Artica Sports Dome in Langub (worth billions but never benefited the Dabawenyos) which according to Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is a "monument of corruption."

Considering this, a person who normally sends out 10 messages a day will pay an additional P5 tax-wise. How many text messages do you send per day? You might just be a future investors in another one of the government's white elephant projects when that tax proposal is approved.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Prof. Araceli Dans-Lee Is UPMin's New CHSS Dean

Prof. Araceli Dans-Lee is the new dean of the University of the Philippines Mindanao College of Humanities and Social Sciences Division. Dans-Lee or Ma'am Marcy as we used to call her when I was still working at UPMin, was one of the most heartwarming professors without an air of superiority in UPMin and there are only few of them there. She would have UPMin's 1st Woman Chancellor had she succeeded in her bid but even an academic institution like UP is a haven of politics and Ma'am Marcy surely is not politician enough to get the necessary votes.

The College of Science and Mathematics or CSM also as a new Dean in the person of Prof. Reynaldo Abad. Abad is replacing Dr. Antonio Obsioma as head of the CSM. I ran into Sir Tony a few weeks ago and he proudly said he is retiring from administrative work and is going back to teaching full time. Sad. He is among the most well-loved personalities in UPMin even when he was still Vice Chancellor for Admin.

Good Location For McDonald's Matina

The newest McDonald in town is located in a very stategic spot---right in front of the Ateneo de Davao HS and Gradeschool campus. Need I say that majority of the customers there are from the Ateneo?

McDonald Matina, which opened in December last year, is different from the other McDo branches ambiance-wise. I haven't been to the new outlet in Bajada though. The fast-food's facade is of course just like the other McDo's but the counter in Matina is more modern. The fastfood stands on a bigger lot but the store itself is small compared to the one located at Victoria Plaza's parking lot.

Some of the staff seemed new to the job as they are still unfamilair with whether or not they should charge extra if the customer opts for ice tea for their Happy Meal. They were polite and helpful though. Well, this is one good thing about McDo because they do not charge you an extra P9 for choosing an ice tea instead of softdrinks for a Happy Meal order. Jollibee does.

This is perhaps the second McDonald Branch that is open 24-hours daily. That Victoria Branch was our library when I was still at Law School so the Matina Branch will probably be a haven for law students who live nearby.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

P206M Bankerohan Bridge Project back On Track?

The P206 million Bankerohan bridge project has not been forgotten by the Department of Public Works and Highways after all. DPWH SM regional director Jerome Dela Rosa said they have merely kept their mouth shut until they got the Notice To Proceed from their head office. Dela Rosa's declaration came amid a castigation from Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. due to the negative publicity hounding the project.

Dela Rosa said among the reasons for the delay are

1. Commission on Audit Rules and Regulations

2. Berthing place for the materials to be used for the construction

3. Delay in release of other important documents

4. Decision to dredge the area near the Bolton Bridge to allow the barge to pass

Based on the contract between Ciriaco Corporation and the government, the construction of the bridge will start from January 14 and is expected to be completed by August 14.
In Davao City, accountability to the project is being passed like a basketball, between Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (who said it is a national project) and Representative Prospero Nograles (who is blaming DPWH). There is as yet no movement of materials at the destroyed Bankerohan Bridge except for a few locals who have made the area a basketball court.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Addicted To Blog

I am facing court martial soon if I don't stop blogging and surfing other people's blogs. I have to write several articles today, the deadlines of which are already dead! Meaning, they were due several days ago. But I can't help but write a post now and then and browse other blogs as well.

After reading rhodilee’s blog, I knew there was something wrong with me!

77%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

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Wednesday Movie Blog: Bee Movie

Wednesdays from now on, will be Wednesday Movie Blog. Take your pick of the best movies in town. Most cinemas in the city change movies during Wednesdays so if you want to relax but don't know which movies are showing, just drop by this blog.

Bee Movie
SM Cinema 2 12:15/2:00/3:45/5:30/7:00
NCCC Cinema 4 12:25/2:20/4:15/6:10

I've been hounding both SM and NCCC cinema with queries as to when they will be showing this movie. Did that since I first saw the poster last November. No, I am not a 5-year old kid but kiddie movies arouse my interest. They have simple plots yet they tell us about life and make us want to enjoy life more with its simplicity. Adults make life complicated. Maybe this is why I'll never grow old.

The Bee Movie talks about real life only in simple terms. It talks about a bee who thinks he deserves a better job than making honey. Isn't that what most of us yearn for everyday---a better job?

National Treasure: Book of Secrets
SM Cinema 1 11:20/1:45/4:10/6:35
NCCC Cinema 2 12:00/2:30/5:00

This is another movie that will surely entertain you especially if you love mysteries, treasure hunting and of course Nicolas Cage! This is a sequel to the National Treasure which was a hit among moviegoers enough to warrant another episode. This movie talks about Abe Lincoln's assassination and other conspiracy theories of the US government., If you love Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code then you will surely love this movie.

Of course, I haven't seen Sakal, Sakali,Saklolo yet but the first one (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo) is a riot and I loved it! The movie, which was a Manila Film Festival entry, has been extended and you can still catch it at both SM and NCCC Cinemas.

Why I Love Pay Per Post?

I saw these payperpost affiliate icons while browsing some of the websites and I became interested. Well, anything legit enough that allows me to make additional income interests me, so I browsed further and looked at the paid posts. What made me warm up to the idea of pay per posts is that most of the entries I read seemed to be interesting facts, not just plain advertisements, about products and places.

However, it took me about a two weeks (maybe more?) before I was able to take an Opportunity at payperpost (that means writing offers) since it took sometime before my blog got approved. Kudos to the support team because they immediately got back to me and helped me with my dilemma since I could not get a complete look at the opportunity details.

What I love about this gig is that it allows me to choose which opportunities to take and to write about. A quick look at the various opportunities offered for registered and approved sites made me salivate as there are indeed a lot of opportunities to choose from. Unfortunately, these opportunities are classified and you can only get the opportunities that fits the requirements (which includes blog rank, the hosting site you are using and your location).

I have yet to get paid for this blogging opportunity but judging from the earnings that most of my friends got from their posts, I am looking forward to finally having enough to buy that videocam this year.

Taxi: public or private?

Is anything wrong with this photo?

Well, the photo looks just right even if taken while the photographer was mobile. However, something is wrong with this Maligaya taxi's plate number. This taxi traveled all the way from Matina, through the Ulas police outpost (where Land Transportation People are usually stationed) and onto Mintal and yet no authority seems to have noticed its problematic plates.

Taxi units are for hire vehicles and are supposed to have yellow plate numbers. So why is this taxi ferrying passengers with a green plate?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

COA probes P71M People's Park

The Commission on Audit is set to probe the P71 million People's Park, which according to some people has been overpriced. COA is about to form a technical committee to take charge of the investigation.

This came after some sectors hinted that the death of broadcaster Ferdi "Batman" Lintuan was linked to his rants against the alleged overpricing of the park. The park has playground facilities for children, lots of stone sculptures by Kublai lighting fixtures, benches and several waterfalls.

The park already sparked a controversy after most Dabawenyos (and even outsiders) signified their disenchantment with the choice of name as it does not at all signify any unique characteristic of the City of Davao.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will take a leave of absence in line with COA's investigation. he has also irrevocably resigned as chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council, a post he has held for the past 12 years. Dabawenyos would not miss the name Duterte though as Davao's political scene is awash with Dutertes---his daughter Sara is Vice Mayor while his son Paulo is president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC)

Have you visited the Park? Do you agree that it is worth P71 million?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Classes Resumes In Davao City

Motorists can expect lighter traffic these days compared to last year during the Holiday Season. This, despite the opening of classes this week. However, this is not to say that traffic along congested areas in the city will lighten up. More traffic is expected along Bankerohan considering that the Bankerohan Bridge is still under construction.

Davao's traffic is considerably better than Manila traffic but Dabawenyos still complain about the way the traffic lights seem to hold motorists on the queue. While there is actually no traffic, the time spent waiting for that light to turn green makes impatient people red with rage. Another cause of congestion along the city streets are public utility vehicles that get passengers wherever they want, even in the middle of the streets.

Traffic (and the problems that comes with it) is definitely part of Davao. Well, how's that as a bargain for progress?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Casino Right In The Comforts Of Your Home

I have never played a casino game before. Well, I've been inside the Casino before not to play but to watch a concert. However, I've noticed the different games being played and I would have tried the slot machine since it looked the easiest among the other casino games but I desisted, not wanting to look stupid in front of the other more experienced players.

Lucky for those who want to try playing the various casino games, now that online casino is all over the Internet. There are various online casino sites so you can take your pick as to which online casino site you want to try your luck with. But if you want to do it the easy way, Pro360 provides a convenient way to choose an online casino. The website presents a review of at least a hundred online casino sites. Imagine this: there are over 3000 online casinos and it would take you days if not months to try and test each site. With Pro360, you can just read their reviews of the Top 20 online casinos and take your pick.

What is good about this site is that it offers a bonus for those who will sign up. Every review page has a bonus banner. Just click that and you qualify for the bonus which, I should say, is bigger than most bonuses being provided by online casino sites when you go to their sites directly. All the casinos being reviewed by Pro360 offers the basic casino games like Roulette, Craps, Online Poker and my favorite, the Slots.

Playing casino online is easier than going to the physical casino. For one, I do not have to risk looking stupid in front of the other players. Plus, you don't have to travel and waste your precious time just to go out of your house. You can play casino games right in the comforts of your own home. Now, I can finally try the Slots.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

More Call Center Workers Wanted In Davao City

The Business Process Outsourcing industry particularly the Call Center industry is still alive and kicking despite the recent strength shown by the Philippine peso against the greenback. This is evident with the mass hiring being done by call centers in the city since last year.

Call Center Directory has listed a total of nine call centers operating in Davao City. Among these are:
ADD Force
Bottomline Interactive Multimedia Speech Laboratory
Link2Support, Inc.
Trends & Technologies
Tricom Systems

However, there are other call centers in the city that can be classified as small and home based business and they may not have been listed in the Directory.

Another call center (not listed in the Directory and up to now I could not find its website so they may have none) is looking for 120 new call center agents to operate its 120 new stations as well as 12 Managers. The company promises to pay for the employees’ weekly salary and weekly production bonus.

Agents can earn from P18,000 to P30,000 monthly while the Managers can earn from P40,000 to P60,000 monthly. For those who are interested, you can call 234-5080 or 234-8250.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mayor Duterte Ranks 3rd In Pulse Asia's Top Local Chief Exec Survey

Dabawenyos may be critical of some of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's policies and governing methods but no one would surely doubt the veracity of a Pulse Asia survey where Duterte ranked No. 3 among the country's top local chief executives, performance wise.

Despite his ala-Clint Eastwood stance, Duterte has indeed made a difference in Davao. Compared to equally growing cities in Mindanao like General Santos City, Davao is clearly a standout. Under his management, Davao has been cited as one of the most livable cities in Asia. The number of national and international seminars and events held in the city last year is evident of the city's peace and order and attractiveness to visitors.

Duterte's no nonsense and iron-hand ruling in the City has made wonders for Davao, making it one of the top performing cities in the whole country. Now, if only those under the mayor can replicate his achievements in making the city a better place to live in.

RRD photo courtesy of Davao Today.

Sending money through rural banks now cheaper with blockchain

Sending money anywhere in the Philippines is now a lot easier thanks to the various money remittance centers like Palawan Express, Cebuana ...