Friday, October 31, 2008

SM's 2008 Halloween A Blast But Organizers Should Learn From Their Bloopers

The Heroes and whatever Halloween Costume Party held at SM City Davao yesterday was a blast as it was attended by 294 (registered participants) kids who were all looking forward to getting their trick and treats! However, the ogranizers of the event should be careful next time because there are a lot of bloopers in their show and that's not just the funny ones!

The contract of participation for the Halloween Costume Party signified that registration is only up to 1:00PM of October 31. However, to the surprise and consternation of those who went to the entertainment center earlier (some as early as 10:00 AM), the organizers still accepted late registrants even up to 2PM.

The parade of costumes started too late because the organizers were keen on accepting as many registrants as possible. The organizers also said they were still waiting for something or someone (maybe the judges?) so they can't start yet. It is understandable that since this is a money-making event with each participant required to show a receipt worth P300, the organizers would want as many participants as possible. Perhaps, it would have been better if they had an early registration to accommodate as many kids as possible. An even better option is to stop indicating a deadline for the registration process since this is irritating especially for those who make an effort to come early.

One of the major flaws of the event was the theme itself! The theme was supposedly heroes, villains and their sidekicks. The organizers should have limited the participants to those wearing costumes from the three categories to avoid problems later on. By accommodating everyone even those not wearing costumes in accordance with the theme, the organizers were faced with another problem: how to present each contestant in an orderly manner whiel giving each one a chance to be seen and heard properly.

The organizers were disorganized that no one was briefing the participants on what to do. The original schedule as shown in the posters was for a trick or treat session for the kids from 1 to 2 PM and then again after the costume parade. As it turned out, some kids already made their rounds while the other kids were prevented from doing so as the organizers said the parade will come first. After about 30 minutes, they changed their minds again and said the participants should just wait because the parade may have to start first and then followed by the trick or treat from 4 to 5 PM. The kids were also disappointed when most of the stores they went into did not even had candies for them. Most of those who were generous enough to give something only gave one candy for each kid. I also noticed that the token given by SM, particularly the sweets and candies, were made from Indonesia (which can also be possibly sourced from China!) and at this time when there is a melamine scare, this can really be spooky!

While some kids were asked to properly display their costume and were properly interviewed on stage ( the lucky 15 who were called first), most of the kids crowded on the stage and were just asked their names in passing. It is also questionable if the judges were even aware of the "Super heroes", "Villains" and "Sidekicks"apart from their generation's heroes. Superman and Flash are not the only heroes, you know. Of course, the judges were popular in their own fields and I believe were very good in their own genres. But this is a different genre we are talking about here.

Events like this are supposed to be fun so I hate to be a spoiler. However, the organizers of the event should be responsible enough to organize the event properly because most of those who attend these events spend money for the costumes not to mention the registration. They should at least make sure each participant is given their rightful place in the sun. More importantly, they should try sticking to their theme because the very reason why a theme is chosen for every event is to limit the focus to that theme alone.

SM City Davao Holds Heroes And Villains Costume Party For Kids Today

Halloween is on October 31 and SM City Davao is observing it with a big bang!

Watch children 4 to 12 years old out-costume each other as they join the Heroes and Villains Costume Party at the SM City Entertainment Center at 1PM today. To join, just present a minimum purchase receipt of P300 bought between October 27 to 31, 2008.

Kids who want to join the costume party should dress up as their favorite movie or television hero, villain or sidekick. One winner will be chosen for three categories: Best Hero Costume, Best Villain Costume and Best Sidekick Costume. Winners will win P5,000 in SM Gift Certificates.

Those who have registered for the costume party can go around the mall for their Trick or Treats!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Davao Movies: High School Musical 3 Extended

Want to relieve your good old high school days? Then watch High School Musical 3, now on an extended run in Davao theaters. The first two High School Musical shows became popular among the younger generation not only for the wonderful and easy-to-remember songs (remember "We're All In this Together" and "Start Of Something New) but also for the charismatic cast led by Zac Efron (Troy Bolton) and Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez) who play the modern day Romeo and Juliet. Hudgens, by the way, is born of a Filipina mother (Gina Guangco) who grew up in Manila making her half Filipino by blood.

What made the Emmy Award-winning High School Musical a hit was its theme which gave almost everyone a chance to relate. High school love, high school indecision and the need to be accepted in society are common feelings that transcend culture and nationality so it is not surprising that HSM was a hit worldwide.

However, HSM 3 is doubly remarkable because the show had more heart when it tackled separation, not only between two loves but also between friendships when it is time to mature and move on from high school to college. Watching the third installment of HSM (watch out for the 4th which is in the making!) will make you realize how significant high school life is. It is that stage when you more or less determine where you will, be headed. It is also the most enjoyable stage in life.

HSM 3 is now on its second week at:

SM Cinema 1

NCCC Cinema 4

Stronger IT To Strengthen Davao's Role As Region's Business Hub

Davao City can only become more competitive with the strengthening of the city's Information and Communications Technology sector.

This was bared by ICT Davao, Inc. president Lizabel Holganza, who said a stronger ICT sector will contribute to the city's competitiveness as a business hub in the region. Holganza is also the chairperson of the ICT Industry Cluster of Davao Region.

The industry is positioning itself as the ICT hub of the south and Holganza said this is very possible considering the many word class facilities as well as the highly-competent workforce in the city. These, she said, are competitive advantages that will lure ICTs to locate in Davao despite the challenges Mindanao is facing including the isolated conflicts in the island.

The National Telecommunications Commission through Memorandum No. 05-05-200 declared Davao as an IT Hub after the Commission on Information and Communications Technology gave the city 82 out of 90 points. The CICT was created in 2004 by virtue of Executive Order 269 primarily to streamline and implement and the various government plans and programs related to ICT.

Holganza said the city's ICT strength is being developed and strengthened with the continuous trainings being conducted among its stakeholders. Such training was conducted for the city's ICT stakeholders (both from the private and government sectors) at the Apo View Hotel last September 12.

The city is a very attractive destination not only for ICT locators but for other businesses as well and the the ICT sector in the city aims to strengthen that foothold Holganza said.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Davao Housing Fair Starts At NCCC Mall Today

Dabawenyos who are planning to purchase real estate property should take advantage of the three-day Housing Fair being held at the NCCC Mall in Matina, Davao City from October 29 to 31, 2008.

A total of 14,830 units worth P4 billion have been sold during the first Housing Fair in 2006.

Take your pick from any of the 12 exhibitors participating in the Housing Fair including Uraya Land Development Inc., Robinsons Home Inc., Kisan Lu Realty, Filinvest Land Inc., Primeland Marketing, Davao Joyful Homes, DMC Urban Property Development, Inc., Santos Land Development Corporation, HLC Construction and Development Corporation, Crown Communities, Foothills Realthy and Development Corporation, Chula Vista Residences and Holcim Philippines.

Various housing units will be on sale during the Housing Fair according to Rose Taasan, project office of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). Encouraged to avail of this opportunity are Overseas Filipino Workers and private sector employees since most of the housing units that will be offered during the fair are very affordable. The buyers can also look forward to the fast tracking of the disposition of assets foreclosed by key government financial institutions and shelter agencies.

Those who intend to process their applications during the Fair should bring their Proof of Income, Community Tax Certificate and marriage certificate if it applies.

RP Lags Behind India, China As Top Spam Sources For 2008

Good news or bad news?

As usual, the Philippines is at the tail end of a comparison study among Asian countries. This time, the country lagged behind India, China, Thailand and Korea in terms of its contribution to global spamming.

To spam is to send unsolicited email messages to people. In most cases, spamming involves the sending of the same messages to as many email addresses as possible, usually in the form of advertising quick-get-rich schemes, erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra and the likes.

According to Trend Micro, an Internet content security provider, Asia accounts for 16.57% of the total spam volume while 57.4% is contributed by the Top 10 spam relaying countries. Sophos, another firm specializing in Internet content security, has listed down to the world's top spam sources from July to September 2008 to include the United States which topped the list for relaying 18.9% of global spam, Russia (8.3%), Turkey (8.2%), China including HongKong (5.4%), Brazil (4.5%), South Korea (3.8%), India (3.5%), Argentina (2.9%), Italy (2.8%) and the United Kingdom (2.7%).

As per Trend Micro's data, India is the top spam source in Asia accounting for over 4% of the total worldwide spam. This was followed by China, Republic of Korea and Thailand. While Sophos and Micro Trend had different data on the percentage of spam contribution by the Asian countries, the two were nevertheless consistent in listing the four countries as the top spam sources albeit in different ranking. The Philippines has not been cited at all among the top spam sources in the region.

This can be positive for the Philippines by saying it is a safe place for Internet owls. However, is anyone safe from the reach of the Internet?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Liquor Ban In Davao Cemeteries Starts October 31 MN

If you are preparing the booze and the food for your cemetery trip this weekend then make sure you leave the booze behind. Bringing and drinking liquor in Davao cemeteries has been prohibited by the Davao City Police and the ban starts on October 31 midnight up to November 1 and 2.

DCPO chief Superintendent Ramon Apolinario said it is not only liquor that is prohibited inside the Davao cemeteries but also bladed weapons and loud music. The DCPO will confiscate bladed weapons and liquors found upon inspection at the cemetery gates.

Apolinario said the DCPO will be closely watching not only the cemeteries but also the Sasa Wharf, the Davao City International Airport and the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal to ensure the safety of the people during the All Saints' and All Souls' Day.

BDO Shares Down To P22.50

Despite claims from Philippine banks and companies that the recent collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers has not affected their operations, here comes another casualty and this time it's the country's second largest bank.

With assets of P621.30 billion as of the end of 2007 brought about by its merger with Equitable Bank, BDO-EPCI is second only to Metrobank with assets worth P706.89. Banco de Oro's shares however plummeted by P7 yesterday bringing the bank's share prices down to P22.50.

Banco de Oro incurred a P1.3 billion loss during the third quarter due to its exposure to the Lehman Brothers which forced the bank to make some extraordinary provisions for some of its impaired assets which was originally pegged at P3.8 billion but already reached P4.28 billion. BDO admitted during last September's Senate hearings that its exposure to Lehman amounted to $134 million which was small compared to the bank's assets worth P700 billion.

The bank told a Senate hearing in September it had a $134-million exposure in Lehman Brothers but the amount was small compared to assets of more than P700 billion. However, the investment losses was aggravated by a contraction in BDO's foreign exchange gains, trading and service fees which dropped to P5.84 billion.

However, BDO said its balance sheet continues to remain strong with P743 billion worth of assets. This shows a 13.68% capital adequacy ratio which is way more than the regulatory minimum of 10%.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Davao City Not Profitable For Its IT Grads

The number of students taking up IT-related technology courses in Davao City may have increased over the years but it seems the city is not a profitable place for its very own IT graduates.

This was bared by Ateneo de Davao University Computers Study Division chair Edwin Marañon who said most of the city's IT graduates prefer to work in other cities like Manila and Cebu where salaries are higher.

Marañon said that while the basic salary for new IT graduates in the city starts at P8,000, Cebu and Davao companies offer IT fresh graduates a minimum of P16,000. It is thus not surprising that eight of ten IT graduates from Davao opt to work in Manila and Cebu.

This situation is lamentable and ironic considering that Davao is starting to become a preferred destination for IT investors due to the talented IT graduates it produces year after year. He said the Ateneo alone gets flooded with inquiries from investors who are looking for IT workers even before they graduate from college. This competitive advantage is in danger if the city fails to keep its IT graduates within its folds.

Cool Weather In Davao City This Week

It's time to bring on those colorful umbrellas and raincoats!

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has forecasted a cool but rainy weather for Mindanao throughout the week thanks to the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone which is affecting all of Mindanao as well as portions of the Visayas and Palawan.

Dabawenyos can also expect scattered rain showers and thunderstorms especially during the latter part of the day. The Eastern parts of the island that are prone to flashfloods should however prepare for heavy rains. Southern Mindanao, including Davao City, should prepare for possible rain showers after

Sunday, October 26, 2008

DM Consunji Project Faces Opposition From Maa Residents

Another real estate developer eyeing the development of Shrine Hills for a housing project is facing opposition from the Maa Federation of Homeowners.

The DM Consunji people headed by general manager Victoria Joy Adriano presented their project to the City Council last Tuesday pursuant to their application for a preliminary approval and location clearance (PALC). However, the PALC was not issued by the Council pending the clarification of important matters including the development of a proper drainage system.

Councilor Jose Louie Villafuerte said Maa already has an existing drainage problem and is already experiencing floods. He said Maa's flooding problems might become worse if the developer fails to institute a proper drainage plan for their project.

Committee on Housing, Rural and Urban Development Councilor Arnolfo Ricardo Cabling said the PALC is just a permit granted by the City Council to allow the developer to pursue their studies and development plan. However, he added, it is best to allow all parties to present their side on the drainage and other issues to ensure that the developer's efforts in developing the project will not go to waste.

Adriano said the only drainage option so far is the Datu Luho Creek en route to the Davao River. The said River is already up to its capacity since the existing subdivisions in the area are already using it for drainage purposes. She added they have not explored any other water pathway except the Creek.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Davao Bgy. Stirred By Fallen Plane Part

It seemed like a scene from "The God's Must be Crazy" all over again last Thursday morning (October 23)as the residents of barangay Bucana in Matina, Davao City scampered for cover to avoid an object falling from the sky at around 9:00 in the morning.

The fallen object was however not a bottle of Coke like in the movies but rather a metal object which, as confirmed by a press statement later on, was the hydraulic cover of Cebu Pacific flight 5J348.

Residents said they heard a plane prior to seeing the falling object which they described as "bakal na color yellow ug gold" (a yellow and gold-colored metal). They thought a plane had crashed so they ran for cover.

The management of Cebu Pacific said the plane's hydraulic cover accidentally fell off while on flight. However, it dismissed the incident saying the hydraulic cover was just a minor part of the aircraft which does not affect the plane's condition or stability.

Do you have any relative or friend on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J348 last Oct. 28? Then you may have a story to tell.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Coffee Shop Opens In Davao

Spotted a newly opened coffee shop along Quirino just in front of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The coffee shop is adjacent to Honeybear Chicken House.

Davao City's Public Cemeteries In Urgent Need Of Rehab

Davao City's public cemeteries are so overcrowded the city needs to shell out a minimum of P10 million for every hectare of cemetery land that would be rehabilitated.

There are nine public cemeteries in the city but it is still not enough to accommodate the city's requirement. The city is eyeing the development of a 2.3 hectare lot in Tagakpan, Calinan District but the road opening alone cost P275,000 and the cemetery development costs P2 million.

Davao City Economic Enterprise chair Francisco Vales, Jr. said the city's cemeteries are already overloaded and he hopes that next year's annual development plan will already include the proposed budget for the rehabilitation.

The rehabilitation work still does not have a definite date, he said, but the Wireless public cemetery near the downtown area will undergo rehabilitation first. He also said the rehabilitation work should be simultaneous with the construction of the proposed crematorium as the latter would help maximize the cemetery spaces.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Davao City Gov't. Eyes Computerization Of Services

Davao City is eyeing the full computerization of most of its offices starting from the real property tax department of the City Treasurer's Office to the business department to make the city's services more efficient, manageable and investor-friendly.

When this pushes through, those applying for business permits and business licensing can process their transactions online. "We will push for it if budget allows," City Council committee on ICT chair Councilor Teresita Marañon said.

Marañon said the city needs to allocate from P20 to P22 million for the realization of this program based on estimated made by one company. The amount is less than the P40 million budget allotted for the Davao City Real Property Tax Computerization Project which the city implemented last year.

The said program, City Treasurer Rodrigo Riola said, is an "effective and efficient control measure" which will help the department detect erroneous entries as well as the encoder immediately. It will help the department determine if the previous taxes have already been paid and will also help eradicate the proliferation of fake receipts.

Davao City Gov't. Employees Assured Of Addt'l. Cash This Christmas

Employees of the city government of Davao have more reasons to smile these days after the City Council approved Tuesday the P262 million supplemental budget which includes the Christmas bonuses and wage increases of both plantilla and contractual employees.

The approved budget includes P42 million for the employees cash gift, P28.2 million for the 10% salary increase for plantilla employees and the P55 million salary augmentation fund for contractual employees.

City Treasurer Rodrigo Riola said the fund will be sourced from the local tax collection as well as the city's internal revenue allotment balance of P142 million from 2001 to 2004.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Movies: Igor At Davao Cinemas

Kids have one more reason to smile this week as the much-awaited Igor Movie is now showing in Davao cinemas.

Aside from having the handsome and funny John Cussack (remember him in ConAir and War Inc.?) in the lead role as the voice of Igor, the movie is also a welcome respite from the horror and violent action films that has invaded the Davao cinemas in the past months.

Igor is not a who but a what. An Igor is a hunchbacked assistant of a mad scientist whose only purpose in life is to obey his master. Not this Igor who got tired playing a yes-man so he decided to join the annual evil science fair and that's where his misadventures with the land's brilliant but mad scientists began...

Shia LaBeouf (more popularly known to fans as Sam Witwiki in Transformers and Mutt, the son of Professor Henry Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is also back in theaters today via the successful "Eagle Eye".

Here's the movie schedule for this week:

SM Cinema 5 12:15/2:00/3:45/5:30

Eagle Eye
SM Cinema 1 12:20/2:30/4:40/6:50

Davao Internet Cafe's Up

photo shows NeBiTh Computer Systems at Central Park in Bangkal. For only P20 per hour you get to try the facilities of the first cafe in the city to feature high-end units design for hardcore gamers.

The number of Internet Cafes in Davao City has mushroomed to about 400 cafes making the Internet Cafe business not as feasible as it used to be. Of the total number, only 70 are accredited cafes and are guaranteed to be following the guidelines set by City Ordinance No. 0227-04 otherwise known as the Internet Cafe Ordinance.

The Internet Cafe Ordinance requires the procurement of a business permit before operating a cafe. It also prohibits students from playing in the cafes during class hours.

The proliferation of Internet Cafes even in subdivisions has made it difficult to monitor them, Internet Cafe Association of Davao president Yvonne Cabada said during a media forum held at SM City's cafe Rysus Tuesday.

Cabada said most of the small Internet Cafes are owned by Overseas Filipino Workers who invest in the business out of a personal need. An Internet business is more practical for OFWs as it also allows them to communicate with their families for free. However, most of them are faced with technical and operational problems.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gaisano Pours P100M For Newly-Opened Panabo Mall

Panabo City's economy is expected to get a big boost with the infusion of at least P100 million for the construction of the Gaisano Grand Mall of Panabo which opened its doors to the public last October 18, 2008. Residents of Panabo used to travel at least an hour to Davao City for their shopping needs. Prior to the opening of Gaisano, residents of Panabo had to shell out at least P100 for their fare going to the Davao City malls so most of them only went to the mall once a year. With the opening of the city's first mall however, Panabo residents can now go to the mall everyday.

With 72 commercial spaces, a spacious grocery store on the ground floor and a department store on the second floor, the 3.5 hectare Gaisano Grand Mall of Panabo is a testament not only to the city's growing economy but also to the efforts of the Panabo City officials in encouraging investors to invest in the city.

Gaisano Grand Group of Companies chair Benito Gaisano said they did not experience any red tape in the processing of their papers making Panabo City a sure investor-friendly city. Once fully operational, the mall is expected to provide at least 2,000 employment opportunities to the city.

The mall aims to serve the 170,000 residents of Panabo City as well as the nearby town of Carmen. The mall management has promised to offer god quality merchandise at very low prices comparable to the price being offered by Gaisano Cebu.

thanks to junax for the photos

DCPO XI Canine Dog Retires From Service

Spike has finally retired from the Davao City Police Office after 12 years of service.

Spike is a bomb sniffing canine and was brought into the folds of the Davao City Police Office in 1996 under the leadership of then City Director PSupt. Isidro Lapeña. Spike became a member of the DCPO's Canine Unit along with Snappy, a drug sniffing dog. Both dogs were handled by PD1 Roger Dy, a certified canine trainor from the Special Response Group.

Spike was a hardworking canine and he was responsible for the clearing operations during important events in the city including the Kadayawan and the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations. He was also utilized for clearing and paneling operations whenever the President of the Philippines and other high ranking official came to visit.

Spike is known for the following accomplishments:
  • finding and recovery of an IED at the Gaisano Mall basement on March 5, 2001
  • finding and recovery of an IED inside a plastic container which was left in a public utility vehicle on March 11, 2003

Pandesal For Davao Police

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has offered to provide "pandesal" for the city's police force if they are hungry to discourage them from mulcting and extorting money from motorists.

"Kung gusto ninyo ug painit, palitan ta mo ug pandesal. I-distribute nako na sa mga presinto. If you are in need, go to the City Hall kay basin ug makatabang ko ninyo (if you go hungry then I will buy pandesal for you or go to City Hall if you are in need as I might be able to help you)," Duterte said during last Sunday's Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa TV show.

He said he has become exasperated with the various complaints against traffic cops mulcting the city's drivers for their traffic violations. This is the very reason why I overhauled the traffic group, he added.

Duterte said the city, through Davao City Police Office director Ramon Apolinario, is set to hire new traffic personnel from the new police graduates. This will ensure the infusion of uncorrupted blood into the traffic group, he added.

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Systems Go For The Club and Bloggers Davao Networking Event

Bloggers all over the country will have the chance to meet in the city of Durian tomorrow! The Club and Bloggers Davao Networking Event will be held at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City on October 21, 2008

The networking event will be an opportunity for bloggers to network and update each other about the country's growing blogging industry. The event is sponsored by Pagcor.

As per Ms. Janette Toral, tomorrow's meet-up will run as follows:

6:00 - 7:00 Registration and Dinner
7:00 - 7:30 Guest introduction / plugs
Welcome Remarks - PAGCOR Branch Manager Arthur Malatag
7:30 - 8:00 Updates by Janette

* DigitalFilipino Web Awards 2008
* Club Updates (online workshop and other efforts)
* Philippines Top 100 Blogs 2008 (blogs that had big moves in 2008)

8:00 - 8:30 - PAGCOR Updates by President and COO Rafael "Butch" A. Francisco
8:30 - onwards - Raffle, Networking, Games

Davao Trade Expo Slated At DAVCON This October

The Davao Trade Expo is slated at the Davao Convention Center from October 23 to 25, 2008. The three-day expo will feature speakers from the business, academic and government sectors.

Among the speakers are Mr. Freddie Serapio who will talk on “The Influence of the
Macro-Cultural Environment to a Marketing Strategy”, Dr. Eufemio Rasco of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao who will make a "Presentation on Ethics and Biotechnology and Dr. Myrna Viado who will talk about the importance of Training on Human Resource Management: “Taking Care of People for Competitive Advantage".

A three-day job fair to coincide with the 10th Davao Trade Expo is also scheduled at the Davao Convention Center from October 23 to 24, 2008. If you are interested in overseas and local work opportunities then bring your resume, photo and other important work documents to the venue.

SC's Proposal To Use Filipino As Court Language A Travel Back To Time?

The people behind the Supreme Court's proposal to use the Filipino language in all court proceedings should know that shifting to any language won't make for a more judicial justice system.

What the country's justice system needs is a reform. More importantly, the components of the justice system specially the lawyers and the judges need a rebirth and maybe a "going back" to their legal ethics subjects. However, this is just like saying every Filipino should repent and go back to Christ.

The logic behind the SC's intention to use the Filipino language in court proceedings is to improve the understanding of the marginalized sector on the different court processes and also to improve their access to justice. The SC may be barking at the wrong tree. What the majority of the poor Filipinos need is access to lawyers. Even if the court proceedings are all in the Filipino language, people would still not have access to justice if they do not have lawyers who will brief them on their court options.

Case in point:

There was one young lawyer (now in the States) who advised her client (a reporter who was facing libel charges) to just prepare money for bail. The lawyer refused to appeal the case to the Department of Justice to exhaust all remedies prior to the filing of the case in court. It's funny because legal ethics provide that any lawyer should exhaust all actions to make sure the client gets justice.

What the SC should do is to establish more free legal centers like the one being run by the Ateneo de Davao University College of Law. Atty. Manuel Quibod has been doing a good job in maximizing the resources of the Ateneo Legal Aide, sometimes asking the help of law students to help those who do not have access to justice.

It seems the SC is hell-bent in changing the court's language from English to Filipino since it has already scheduled a seminar-workshop on October 21 and 22 at the Bulacan State University in Malolos. During the seminar, the Philippine Judicial Academy legal experts are expected to come up with a training program to be used by the judiciary when they start using the Filipino language in court litigation.

So what's next? Perhaps mandating that all law students and law professors should use Filipino in class? How about changing the law books and the SCRA as well as the decided cases to the Filipino language also?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Davao's Artica Dome Tops List Of White Elephant Projects By LBP

The Land Bank of the Philippines claimed to being very careful in approving loans applied for by local government units saying "mabibilang lang sa kamay" (that one can only count in his fingers)the local government projects financed by LBP that have turned into white elephants. This was the confirmation made by LBP senior vice president Delia Ladao during the press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency office last Saturday.

However, Ladao did not deny the fact that the P300 million Artica Sports Dome project in Maa this city is on top of the list of white elephant projects in the city with money coming from LBP. The project was initiated during the time of mayor Benjamin de Guzman but was halted by mayor Rodrigo Duterte for environmental and other reasons (including financial irregularities).

It can be recalled that the project's viability was questioned even before construction started considering that it was sitting on a site susceptible to landslides and earthquakes. However, de Guzman went on with the project, leaving the millions of Dabawenyos responsible for the payment of the loan.

The bank is very careful in the evaluation and approval of local government projects, Ladao said. The Artica Sports Dome has however become a white elephant project for reasons out of the control of the bank, she added.

Weddings For Rich People In Government Belies Econ. Crisis In RP

Is the Philippines really suffering from economic crisis? NO, judging from the lavish weddings that are being celebrated for the sons and daughters of people who hold very influential positions in the government. The recent wedding in Davao City of the daughter of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza is a case in fact.

Of course, you can always say that Dureza already had his millions made even before he became the government's press speaker whenever there is an important proclamation or comment that the government has to make like belying the fact that there is an economic crisis in the country. Imagine the 10 helicopters that brought the guests to Dureza's Seagull Mountain Resort last Saturday including President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Just a year or more ago, Speaker of the House Prospero Norgrales' son Karlo got married not only in style but super en grande as the common folks would call it. That wedding was also attended by "people who matter" both in government and in the business sector. And know what? That was also attended by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Of course, you can always say that Nograles had made it big even before he became Speaker of the House.

In a country where more than half of the 95 million citizens are considered lucky if they have tuyo or salty fish as well as a bowl of rice in their table, this is a big insult. Imagine Dureza's guests all clad in black and gold apparel surrounded by an equally lavish catering service only fitting for the gods and goddesses of Philippine politics and business. On the one hand, imagine what thoughts filled the mind of Jenifer Bedoya before the beheading.. imagine the thoughts that are filling the minds of three Filipino Overseas Filipino Workers (Brothers) Edison and Rolando Gonzales and Eduardo Arcilla who are now in the Jeddah death row...imagine how Mang Pandoy could not even be laid to rest as the family was still waiting for burial money...

Even the authors of the Civil Code deemed the whole thing pukable when it stated in Article 25 that "Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution..."

Perhaps, they do no even consider the Filipinos to be already living in a period of acute want whereby thoughtless extravagance should be stopped. Those people in Congress should think twice about limiting the expenses for the celebration of public fiestas which are enjoyed by as many Filipinos as possible if such extravagance display of weddings of government officials and their families are tolerated,

Imagine the poor Filipinos working their butts off either in the Philippines or in another country just so they can put three square meals in their family's tables...And then imagine the laughter and the caviar that must have filled the tables of the guests during the Dureza wedding. Please don't puke.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Treats In Davao City-Part 1

Halloween may be a western tradition but the Dabawenyos are starting to celebrate this albeit more conservatively. The celebration was originally known as Samhain, a Celtic festival which is regarded as their own version of a New Year and coincides with the end of the Gaelic harvest season.

This is actually one of the many pagan festivals that even Christians celebrate in the modern world. While the ancient pagans took advantage of Halloween to to get their supplies for winter, the ancient Gaels believed that this is that time of the year when the living is faced with sickness and other problems caused by the dead. The costumes worn today reflected the same costumes worn in the early days to either mimic or placate the evil spirits.

Today, people consider Halloween to be a family affair with kids getting the most of out the celebration as they go from house to house shouting trick or treats! Here are some of the Halloween celebrations scheduled in Davao City.

Eden Nature Park

Children will get their treats alright with the Harry Potter-inspired Halloween Party at the Eden Nature Park on October 31 at 5:30pm. Wear your favorite Harry Potter character from Harry himself, Hermione, Hagrid or even Dumbledore! The organizers of the event said the kids will be dazzled not only with the games and surprises during the Party. There will also be a price for those who will win the Best in Costume contest. Eden's own magician staff will teach children the art of origami and hopefully they will be able to come up with their own Hedwig owls.

And since Halloween is a time to treat not only the kids but also their families, Eden is offering the following room discounts from October 30 to November 2.
  • 20% on rooms
  • 20% off on family cottages
  • 40% off on the campsite areas

On October 30 to November 2 (Thursday to Sunday), get 40% off on rooms, 20% off on family cottages, and 40% off when you camp out at the resort's various campsite areas.

Day Tour is also available for those who would rather explore the Park during daytime at the following prices.
P420 buffet lunch (adult) inclusive of entrance P280 buffet lunch (child) inclusive of entrance P180 snack (adult) P150 snack (child) P230 Fun at the Park (adult) P200 Fun at the Park (child) includes entrance, plated snack, entry to the fishing village, swimming pool or horseback riding, P325 Skyrider with snack including entrance P250 Tinubdan (adult) P185 Tinubdan (child) includes entrance, packed snack and Tinubdan Tour.

For reservations you can call
Eden Nature Park and Resort
send sms to 0918.930.7590

Davao Museum Features Amorsolo Retrospective This October

Kadayawan may be over for this year but you can still celebrate the bountiful harvest thanks to the Amorsolo Retrospective satellite exhibit which will open on October 23 at the Davao Museum's Carlos O. Dominguez Gallery located at the Zonta Building, 113 Agusan Circle, Insular Village Phase I, Lanang, Davao City.

The four month Amorsolo Retrospective exhibit. which opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila last September 26, aims to bring Philippine National Artist Fernando Amorsolo's life and work closer to the Filipino people. The Davao Museum exhibit is 13th of the 20 satellite exhibits all over the country.

The exhibit dubbed as "Celebrating Ginum: A Festival for a Bountiful Harvest" features the Bagobo's pre-planting festival which is being held annually. This should be pretty interesting and Davao's Bagobo community as well as the Dabawenyos as a whole can very well relate to it considering the city's bountiful harvests year in and year out.

You can call the Davao Museum Information Desk for more information on the exhibit at 233-1734 or email them at You still have up to January 13, 2009 to take a closer look at Amorsolo's works.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Goodbye E.O. Fuentes

I would have said move on Sir E.O. because I know he wanted his death to be poetic and not melancholy. He was known among the circle of Davao writers as simply E.O. He was my mentor and later on became my friend and confidante.

I had the chance to work with Sir E.O. when I was taken in by Publisher/Writer Willie Rola to edit his business magazine "Dimensions". I was still in college then but he believed in me and trusted me with running the editorial content of his magazine but of course, with the help of our editorial consultant E.O. Fuentes.

He was already an old man then but he was very vibrant and full of life. And he was very unselfish, taking it upon him to mentor me. He always considered me his protege and taught me a lot of things about feature writing. It was my first stint in professional writing (unless you count the once in a blue moon writing experiences I had with then Peryodiko Dabaw and another magazine owned by an advertising man).

I was placed in the company of "wolves", so to speak as they were all experienced writers around me--Sir E.O. and Willie Rola. Thus, I had no choice but to learn and to make the best of whatever writing talent I had.

One of the first criticisms, er---lessons Sir E.O taught me was to make sure that my features ended smoothly. "Do not let your article end abruptly," he would coach me. But no matter how I tried, he kept on pestering me for hours no end that I should make sure my ending was beautiful and that it will always be remembered by my readers.

My experience with Dimensions Magazine was all worth the pain of having to wake up early to cover the Geothermal Plant in Mt. Apo and to stay up late to make sure those articles were written following Sir E.O.'s guidelines. I cannot anymore remember the hundreds of feature stories I wrote for Dimensions, most of them passed the Eagle's eye of Sir. E.O. after several rewrites.

We parted ways since I was taken in by another mentor, Ms. Marietta Siongco of Mindanao Daily Mirror to take care of Mirror's business news. Business news was a never-heard genre then since what was popular in the Davao media was political news. But Sir. E.O. was never far behind and he would always beep me (ha!ha! no SMS messages then) or all me up at Mirror so we an have lunch or just a light snack.

I have always looked forward to those "dates" then since Sir. E.O. always treated me and still critiqued even my news articles. He encouraged me to do more business features at a time when a major reporter of a local tabloid laughed at my article about the business of making salt. She was ignorant about business writing then as she was only exposed to political news. Sir E.O. gave me the courage to move on and to ignore her remarks. And thanks to him, I moved on and left my own mark in the growth of Davao City's business reporting niche no matter how trivial that may be.

He went on to encourage me to write more business features when I was hired by BusinessWorld to be their correspondent for Mindanao. As usual, he did not stop critiquing my work but at the same time there were always words of wisdom behind his criticisms. He also asked me to be part of the FIDI book which he edited.

I haven't had a date with Sir E.O. for quite sometime after I became busy with law school and moved on to another career. However, we always talked on the phone and during those times he would always drop a word or two about maintaining the spontaneity of my stories.

Sir E.O. was a gifted man. He was very kind and his words of wisdom will always be with me.

Davao Doctors Hospital, College In The Midst Of Corporate Bickering

Could the operation of Davao City's premier hospital be disrupted by the ongoing rift between two groups of stockholders? The same question goes for the operation of Davao Doctors College, both of which are being managed by the same corporation?

A media war is going on between the former DDH President Dr. Herminio Villano of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) which is a group identified with new investor Manny Pangilinan and present DDH president Dr. Dominador Cabrera. You would think such corporate take over and controversy can only happen in the books of John Grisham but it is happening right here in Davao City, and will take place on November 8, 2008 during the board's annual stockholders meeting.

Cabrera said the DDH stockholders are not so keen to Villano's bid for the presidency of DDH because "he sold out!". Villano, along with three other shareholders of DDH, consolidated and sold their shares to Pangilinan's MPIC last June but reports indicate that Villano has retained at least 300 shares.

Villano however denied he is eyeing a comeback for the presidency of the DDH and said "It's true that I am running but only for a seat in the board" and only to ensure that no obstructions are faced by the MPIC in the implementation of the financial policies geared towards saving the hospital.

He said the company behind the hospital and the Davao Doctors College has not been managed accordingly. He clarified that it is the company and not the hospital that has been mismanaged. However, he admitted that the College was being run badly and has experienced a drop in the number of enrolleess from 6,500 during his time to the present 3,600.

MPIC is seeking a majority status in the board considering that it will invest P250 million in the hospital from 2008 to 2009.

Cabrera debunked the allegations saying the college may have a low enrollment rate this year but it is still contributing a sizable revenue to the company. He said the reason for the low enrollment is the raising of the entrance exam standards of the school unlike before when even a student with a score of 38 was allowed admission.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mindanao Talk Show Kicks Off Nov. 19

A Mindanao talk show dubbed as "Talk Mindanao" will be launched on November 19, 2008 on Channels 15 and 28 of Sky Cable Network. The show, which will be aired from 1o p.m. to 11 p.m every Wednesday, will be seen in Davao City, General Santos City, Tagum and Zamboanga City.

The show is a good opportunity for Mindanaoans who want to know about the latest news and issues affecting the island including its economy, peace and order, business and other advocacy.

"We hope to highlight the different opportunities in Mindanao especially in investments," Mindanao Business Council chairman Vicente Lao said. On the other hand, Mindanao Economic Development Council Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana said that aside from providing vital information to businessmen "the show will also give various updates on peace and development to Mindanao's different stakeholders."

The newest talk show in and about Mindanao, which replaced the live interview program Mindanao Business Talk, will be managed jointly by Medco and MinBC.

Davao City's Economy Won't Suffer Even With Economic Crisis-Laviña

Davao City's economy would not suffer despite the global economic crisis being felt by the country today mainly for three reasons:

1.Davao City is an agriculture-based economy and therefore not as exposed to trading fluctuations
2.Davao City is more of an exporter than an importer so it is not highly vulnerable to the fluctuating currency rate
3.Davao City has reached critical mass with 1.4 million consumers

This was the contention of councilor Pete Laviña who chairs the City Council committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry. As evidence of this, he said, new banks have started construction in the city despite the crisis.

Despite this positive outlook the Davao City Council is preparing for the possible influx of Overseas Filipino Workers who might lose their employment abroad and decide to either reduce their remittances to their families in Davao City or return to the city for lack of better options. Councilor Danny Dayanghirang has thus passed a resolution to establish a linkage between the Davao City Cooperative Development Office and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration so that both offices can come up with a program that will benefit OFWs who would opt to return home.

Dabawenyo Wins Lotto Jackpot Worth P131M

If you are one among the hundreds of Dabawenyos betting their hard-earned P20 (or more!) daily to get a crack at the lotto pot then here's one more reason to continue or discontinue with your lotto addiction.

A lucky Dabawenyo won the P131,367,621.60 jackpot prize of the 6/49 lotto game using the combination number 42-12-46-26-49-19. The lucky Dabawenyo paid a measly P140 for his bet and got millions in return.

This can mean that every Dabawenyo's dream of being a millionaire through the lotto is indeed possible. However, luck never shines in you twice so in all probability the next lucky winner will no longer come from this area.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Davao City's Support For Senator Gordon’s Text Tax Bill On

Davao City councilor Pilar Braga is supporting Senate Bill 2402 mandating telecommunication companies to remit fifty percent of their text revenues to the government for the development of the country’s education system and health programs.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Richard Gordon, provides for the creation and funding of HEAP or the Health Education Acceleration Program which seeks to rehabilitate the country’s education and health programs.

The Philippines is known as the texting capital of the world with an estimated 65% of its population having access to a cellphone capable of sending SMS or text messages. With an estimated 400 million text messages sent per day at P1 per message, Braga said, roughly P200 million a day can be contributed to HEAP, a substantial amount that can address the backlogs in the country’s health and education infrastructures.

Braga said the country is faced with a deteriorating educational system with 267 barangays suffering from lack of public elementary schools and four municipalities without public high schools. Majority of the Filipino school children are also undernourished as per World Bank data.

The telecommunication companies are earning multi-billions of pesos a year from text messaging alone with combined earnings of P77 billion in 2007. If half of this can be used to finance the country’s education and health programs then it can go a long way in improving the country’s literacy rate and health programs.

Most Filipino Doctors Speak English?

I was doing research for a client who owned a sophisticated cosmetic surgery center in the US and I came upon this website owned by a Filipino doctor who specializes in cosmetic surgery.

The site was promoting Asia particularly the Philippines as an aesthetic destination considering how affordable the country's cosmetic procedures are.

One of the selling points mentioned in the site is the fact that "MOST FILIPINO DOCTORS SPEAK ENGLISH". I find this line an affront not only to Filipino doctors, all of whom can presumably speak English after they have hurdled four years of College and another four years in Medical School where the medium of instruction is ENGLISH. How come the line says "Most Filipino doctors can speak English" when the presumption should be all Filipino doctors can speak English? Else, their understanding of their medical books can be pretty scary considering they are responsible for extending the lives of people based on their education.

The Philippines is known for being one of the best English-speaking countries in Asia and while education continues to be a challenge in the country I believe this competitive advantage still exists. Even the street sweepers can speak and understand English albeit not the one spoken by most academicians who are blatantly particular about every rule in the grammar books.

I remember that time when Filipinos particularly bloggers protested the slur committed by Teri Hatcher in the movie Desperate Housewives when she casually mentioned that she was just making sure that her doctor got his education anywhere but in the Philippine diploma mills or something to that effect.

Perhaps the owner of this website should edit his text. What do you think?

PASG's Raid On Unioil Illogical

The legality of the raid conducted by the Philippine Anti Smuggling Group at the Unioil terminal in Mariveles, Bataan just this week is for the courts to decide. However, the logic behind the raid of Unioil as per the words of PASG head Antonio Villar is funny.

Villar was quoted on television interviews saying "ano'ng human rights violation bahala na sila dyan..." or something to that effect shows that the guy needs to attend a human rights seminar or even a basic criminal law subject to understand the intricacies of human rights and proper arrests. Moreso, this guy probably needs to be briefed on proper public relations because the way he spoke those words on television made him look like a remnant of martial law.

Based on Villar's words, the small oil companies or all oil companies for that matter should be wary when they lower their fuel prices. In short, they should always follow the prices of the other companies just like Caltex, Petron and Shell to avoid being suspected of smuggling.

Villar said the ability of Unioil to reduce fuel prices by P3 is suspect: kasi bakit sila kaya nila eh yung malalaking oil companies eh di kaya?" The logic is plain stupid. This is the same question being asked by the masses and even by the government albeit of a different tact. Why can't the big oil companies lower their fuel prices when the smaller ones can?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beware Of Internet Job Offers

Dabawenyos dreaming of working in the land of milk and honey and in Euro-rich countries like London should be wary of job offers they get from the Internet. This was the warning from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration amidst reports that a lot of Filipinos have been duped into remitting recruitment payments to bank accounts and Paypal accounts of unscrupulous recruiters.

POEA warned that every job offer should be double checked by inquiring with the proper offices including the POEA and the companies for which the applicants are supposed to be deployed after they pay the recruitment money.

Will Galoc Oil Benefit The Filipinos?

Will the recently-discovered Galoc Oil Field in Palawan Benefit The Filipinos? Yes, according to Energy undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan who said the oil find will ultimately trickle down to the Filipinos directly or indirectly. Coming from a family of politicians that have made themselves rich but left millions of Muslims in Cotabato POOR, this seems hard to believe.

But let's give Ampatuan the benefit of the doubt.

However, one of the investors in the oil drilling venture said he doubts if the oil find will lower down fuel prices in the country considering that the joint venture will decide where the oil will be sold. And from a businessman's point of view, he said, the oil would be sold to the highest bidder so that they can recover what they invested and of course make some profit in the process. The government cannot do anything about this because it was a mere onlooker in the whole process. All it can do is get a certain percentage which political speculators said, will be a great source of funds for the coming 2010 elections.

So where's the benefit to the masses in there?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Many Calories In Your McDonald Burger?

The various McDonalds outlets in Davao are always filled with people that I am not sure how Dabawenyos will react if their favorite McDonald outlet will shutdown in a day or two. Calories-deprived perhaps?

This is what calorie-addicts from Venezuela will feel when they visit any McDonald outlet in the country and find that all branches of the calorie-food chain has been ordered closed by the Venezuelan government for 48 hours, not for being calorie-rich but for allegedly committing tax irregularities and inconsistencies as shown in their account. There are 115 McDonald branches in Venezuela all of which have been ordered closed from Thursday to Saturday.

The closing down of McDonald, albeit for only 2 days, is not surprising considering that it is the closest you can get to Uncle Sam wherever you are and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a fierce critic of the United States.

There are at least five McDonalds outlet in the city---SM City, Matina, Ilustre, two in Victoria Plaza. Despite that, the joint is known for providing high amounts of calories to the Dabawenyos’ palate. Take this:

McDo Hamburger = 254.0kcal
Big Mac = 492.0kcal

Regular Fries = 207.0kcal
McDonald’s Quarterpounder with Cheese is however the runaway winner with 515kcal

Davao Call Centers Not Bothered With High Agent Turnover Rate

Call Centers worldwide particularly in economic centers like Metro Manila and Cebu City may be having problems with the fast turnover of call center agents but this is not a problem among Davao City call centers.

The normal turnover rate is placed at 30 to 40 percent but the Call Center Association of the Philippines reported a higher turnover rate of 60 to 80 percent. This was however debunked by Nannete Del Mundo of Cyber City and Arlene Ozoa of the 611 Call Center operated by the JIB Career Center. De Mundo said the survey may have been based on the experiences of call centers located in congested areas like Manila and Cebu.

The fast and high turnover of call center agents is blamed on stress, pressure, irregular work hours, boredom and health reasons.

Unlike Manila and Cebu based call centers which offer extraordinary incentives to encourage the employment of more call center agents and to limit the high and fast turnover rates, Davao City call centers offer only a salary rate of P8,000 to P14,000 without such incentives.

Water Or Power?

WATER or POWER? Dabawenyos, particularly its local leaders, are faced with a dilemma as to which one of the two important resources to opt for.

The problem started when the Aboitiz-owned Hedcor (Aboitiz being the owner of Davao Light and Power Company) proposed the construction of a hydropower plant along Tamugan River in Calinan this city which was then debunked by the Davao City Water District for being detrimental to the city's water resources.

The National Water Resources Board has already given a permit to DCWD for its surface water development. Hedcor, on the other hand still has to get one. Just like Hedcor, the City Council is looking for a win-win solution to the problem whereby both Hedcor and DCWD can use the area for their individual projects. DCWD's Imelda Magsuci however said the area would no longer be feasible for the tapping of surface water for its project once Hedcor is given the go signal to build the hydropower plant.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has already stepped in and has given Hedcor until yesterday to defend its position. Otherwise, Duterte said he is more favorable to providing clean and pure water to Dabawenyos.

Hedcor claims the whole of Mindanao is faced with a looming power crisis if the hydropower plant is not put into place. However, a recently released study claims that Davao's water sources already contains contaminants as a result of the banana plantations operating in the area.

So which would you choose? Water or Power?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Discovery Of Oil In Palawan Spells Good News For RP

The discovery of fresh oil just off the coast of Palawan in the Philippines specifically the Galoc Oil Field at 10:45 am today is good news for the Filipinos who are still battling high fuel prices despite the decrease in the price of fuel in the world market. The oil was brought straight to the oil refineries at 11:20 today.

The country imports $6 billion worth of oil per year so this discovery is expected to decrease albeit minimally the country's dependence on the oil producing and exporting countries. This discovery, which is expected to produce from 10 to 20 million oil barrels daily which is equivalent to almost 6% of the demand for oil in the country can also spell $1.4 billion worth of savings in foreign exchange for the Philippines.

This is not the first time that oil has been discovered in the Philippines as Shell's Malampaya project discovered oil in the country in January 1992.

Release Of Hultman's Killer Stirs RP Justice System

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has done it again! Arroyo granted executive clemency to Claudio Teehankee, Jr, barely seven years after he was convicted by the Supreme Court. Teehankee was sentenced to one count each of reclusion perpetua and reclusion temporal for the 1991 murder of then 16-year old Maureen Hultman and Roland Chapman as well as for wounding Jussi Leino.

To add salt to the injury, a government official was interviewed by reporters saying the Hultmans' were informed of the plan to pardon Teehankee and the family agreed after an estimated P6 million was paid to the family. I was shocked when I heard that knowing that the

Maureen Hultman's photo
taken from

Philippine law does not accept blood money in exchange for the release of a convicted prisoner. If my memories of my criminal law subject still holds true, criminal cases are not dismissed even if the complainants desist from the case since it is the government who will prosecute the case although of course there's the non-appearance of the witnesses to contend with. What more in this case when Teehankee was convicted?

Vivian Hultman, the victim's mother, denied they were given any notice by the government about the planned clemency that will be given to Teehankee. She said the money awarded to them was by virtue of the court's decision and order and not payment for the release of Teehankee. So there, another Arroyo man caught with his pants down or rather with his foot in his mouth!

The executive clemency has placed the justice system into question once again even if such was an executive decision and there is supposedly a separation of the three branches of government--the executive, judiciary and the legislative. There are lots of prisoners who have been suffering in jail and even after several years they still claim innocence. A lot of media people have been placed behind bars not for killing people but for merely reporting the truth.

Despite Press secretary Jesus Dureza's claims that 292 prisoners were granted pardon by the president this year, the fact that Teehankee is the son of a former Supreme Court justice and the brother of a Philippine Diplomat to the WTO in Geneva still makes people suspicious if justice in the Philippines can really be bought and manipulated either by money or by name.

Tide's "Isa Higit Sa Dalawa" commercial

I was disturbed the first time I saw and heard Tide's "1>2" or "Isa Higit sa Dalawa" advertisement not for anything else but for its tendency to mislead children into believing that what is being taught both at school and at home is not correct. How many mothers and pre-school teachers have spent days teaching children the intricacies of basic mathematics. It is as factual as night and day that 1 is less than 2. However, this Tide commercial insists that 1 is less than 2.

Several weeks after I was surprised and glad that Tide has made some amendments to their advertisement. If you notice Tide's advertisement nowadays, the phrase "isa hight sa dalawa" is still being used but with a caveat----sa mathematics hindi pwede yan!

I don't know if the Department of Education called the attention of Tide's advertisement agency but whoever made that call should be commended for checking it out and asking Tide to amend its advertisement.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Am Going To Gensan For MBS2!

Gensan or Dustdiangas as I used to call it when I first set foot on this dusty land several decades ago has indeed come a long way. I have many memories of Gensan mostly good, some bad---but they all contributed to making me a better person ---well, hopefully. And while I have always returned home during holidays and vacations, it is only now that I am tracing back my roots hoping that I would be given more reasons to stay for good.

Thanks to the organizers of the MBS2 I now have one more reason to visit Gensan once again for reasons other than family. The holding of the bloggers summit in gensan is very timely considering that the city is experiencing a rebirth of its economic boom. Construction of the Robinsons Mall is underway and there are talks that SM will soon start constructing another mall also. So what's in store for bloggers who will join the MBS2 in Gensan? Lots of tuna and seafood for sure!

Thanks to these folks and companies, MBS2 is finally on!

NOKIA (Philippines), Inc.
Mayor Pedro B. Acharon, Jr.
Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio
ABS-CBN Regional Network Group
Bariles Republic
ACLC-Skeptron Ventures, Inc.
Gregoria Printing Press
International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Grab A Crab Restaurant and Coffee Club 101

Asia United Bank
NoKiAHOST.COM - P5/day Philippines Webhosting
Family Country Hotel and Convention Center
East Asia Royale Hotel

GensanSALE.COM - AnyThings for Sale in Gensan
Blogging from Home Book
Pacific Seas Seafood Market
Shalom-Crest Wizard Academy
Generals Logimark Exponent
Prints and You
Sta. Cruz Seafood, Inc.
Dellosa Design Builders, Inc.
Forest Lake San Carlos
Rolees Bakery & Cafe

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 ...