Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

Local News: Aquino announces abolishment of PDAF, otherwise known as Pork Barrel.

In a nationally televised address, Aquino announced that it is time to abolish the corrupt-ridden Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Not one to miss an opportunity to put the blame on his predecessor, Aquino had this to say:

Wala pong mali o masama sa polisiyang ito. Ang mali, ang masama, at ang siya ngang ikinagagalit ng taumbayan, ay ang pagsasabwatan sa pagitan ng isang pangulong handang makipagtransaksyon para manatili sa kapangyarihan, mga mambabatas na handang makipagkuntsabahan, at kung nariyan ang kooperasyon ng burukrasya, at mga mamamayang tila namanhid na sa panlalapasatangang ginagawa sa kanila.

The announcement came as a surprise to everyone as Aquino has staunchly said he is against the abolition of Pork just mere days ago. A nationwide march that calls for the abolition of PDAF is mobilizing and set for this Monday.

But even as Aquino relents on the abolishment of said Pork, it appears that Filipinos have yet to see the end of this controversial issue, for Aquino is planning to put a new “mechanism” in place of PDAF that he says will be more tightly controlled.

Yeah, like we haven’t heard that before! Different name, same hocus-focus. Stay vigilant Pinoys!

Entertainment: Warner Brothers announces Ben Affleck is the new Batman

Micro-blogging site Twitter as well as various Social Networking sites were abuzz with the surprise news coming from Warner Brothers. After Snyder’s announcement at Comic-Con that Batman will appear in the sequel to Man of Steel, rumors of who is being tapped to don the cowl circulated in a frenzy.

WB made the surprise announcement Friday. Indeed, Ben Affleck will appear as the new Batman.

This is not the first time Affleck will play a superhero role. He played the lead role of Dare Devil; the film has been widely criticized. Various memes and jokes are already circulating on the internet. Most seem to question the casting decision.

Technology: Ballmer says goodbye to Microsoft

Another unexpected announcement comes in from the technology world – Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down. He is to retire within the next 12 months, acting as CEO until a successor is named.

This announcement seemed to be taken a good sign by investors, Microsoft’s share price actually rose seven percent after Ballmer declared his retirement plans. Ballmer himself earned $769 million from the share price increase.

This recent event gives Microsoft a fresh start. If it can find a good, visionary leader, it may yet redeem its lost glory in the this time of mobile computing!

Personally, I wouldn’t like a world where my only choices are Apple and Google.

I know it’s late in the day, but it still is June 12th. As the popular Pinoy saying goes, “Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din.” With that, happy Independence Day, my dear Philippines! May you also be free of the shackles that bind you still.

Thanks to Google (of all sources) for the following shout-out!

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A certain comedian-turned-senator is at it again, this time hinting that esteemed JFK is himself a plagiarist.

How low can you go?

The Filipino people is a people that is very forgiving. Whether or not that is a good thing is up for debate. So why has this become such a huge debacle?

I think that the issue took root, not because of the act of copying without attribution itself, but because of the bullish hard-headed stance that the comedian took to save face. Instead of bowing down and owning up to his faux pas, he arrogantly challenged anyone and everyone who dared raise the question on ethical grounds.

Instead of taking the gentleman’s way of admitting that, yes, it was a mistake and it was a wrong thing to do, apologize for it and move on, the jester huffed and puffed, “So sue me!”

He did give a half-,  or was it a quarter-?, hearted apology to the late US Senator’s family, but still not admitting any wrong-doing. It’s the equivalent of the Arroyo’s “I am sorry!” stint. No genuine feeling of regret, no intention of making amends.

Now he’s trying to drag the dead into the whole issue. As a Filipino, I feel so ashamed that a person such as this is sitting as a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines.

When you get torrential rains and there’s no storm brewing like we did these past weeks, how do you warn the public? You can’t raise a storm signal – no typhoon, remember – so what do you do?

If you were Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), you’d come up with a new rainfall warning system. Introduced this June, the idea is simple enough. Create a simple, foolproof system that will alert the masses of how heavy the downpour is or will be, and based on the warning level, people can make informed decisions.

The Philippines regularly experiences heavy rains particularly during the months of May to October. The southwest monsoon (locally known as habagat) season can bring in heavy downpours which leave some parts of the country devastated. So the idea of having a warning system in such cases is a laudable one.

Unfortunately, the color-coding scheme originally adapted by the weather bureau goes against common knowledge, and may I say, common sense. The scheme, patterned after Hong-Kong Observatory’s three-level alert system, uses three colors, green, yellow, and red.

Without explanation as to what each color represents, how would you arrange the severity based on those three colors? I would take a gamble, and guess that you’d associate said colors with something very familiar to all motorists and commuters alike:

Green means go, or everything’s still fine.
Yellow means caution, be alert and be prepared.
Red means stop, take safety measures.

Makes sense, right? Except that’s wrong. Here’s the original scheme used by PAGASA:

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Notice that the lowest level is Yellow, not Green. Why anyone would use this setup is beyond me. Using colors that everyone is already familiar with, and then mixing them up is just asking for it, in my opinion.

Then, in a move as idiotic as the original problem, they changed the scheme mid-crisis. PAGASA has changed green to orange, presumably after someone from the bureau noticed that traffic lights are everywhere.

This is now the new scheme:

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It makes more sense, but the timing could have been better. Couldn’t they have, I don’t know, maybe, just maybe waited until situations all around have gotten a little better?

A great idea mired by thoughtlessness and incompetence.

We spent a couple of days at one of the prime destinations during summer in the Philippines. Traveling up north all the way to Baguio, it took us five hours of nonstop bus ride from Cubao to Baguio City proper. The travel back is even longer at six hours, owing to traffic along Rosales in Pangasinan and parts of Tarlac.

These are some of the shots we took while enjoying our vacation. Another reason why it’s more fun in the Philippines!

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The Philippines is known by its deep religious roots, after all! This is the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, or simply, Baguio Cathedral, located at the heart of Baguio City.

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Sunset as viewed atop the SM Mall.

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This is Mines View Park. The houses below kind of ruin the scenery, but still a grand vision to behold!

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A horse that looks like a cow enjoying the sun’s warmth! A picture of a simple, happy fleeting moment!

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Traversing the rows of pine trees at Camp John Hay.

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These are taken from the vantage point inside Little John’s! Try their Baby Back Ribs if you’re ever there, thank me later!

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More pictures at Camp John Hay.

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And finally, the Manor!

Just a reminder of that weekend we spent in Bolinao, Pangasinan years ago. Sunset. More Surreal in the Philippines.

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The latest slogan aimed at enticing foreigners to visit the many islands of the Philippines was unveiled by the Department of Tourism on Friday, January 6th.

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It’s a simple straight-forward line, but it’s already drawn positive feedbacks from the blogosphere and news outlets alike. This is in contrast to the widely derided “Pilipinas Kay Ganda!” slogan put out in November 2010.

In and of itself it serves a purpose. But the line can serve a lot more if you precede it with whatever it is you want to promote.

Take the Ifugao Rice Terraces’ “Getting upstairs. More fun in the Philippines!” for example.

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Or delve deep into the rich underwater sceneries such as what this photo portrays:

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Wherever you go in the Philippines, it’s the Filipinos that will make your holiday unforgettable. Just ask anyone who’s been here. In fact, Lonely Planet guidebook calls us ‘among the most easygoing and ebullient people anywhere.’

So if you’re looking for a place to spend that next vacation, why not come here and experience first-hand why it’s more fun in the Philippines?