mga kwento at haka-haka ni kakang pepe

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tama Na, Sobra Na, Palitan Na!

Napuno na ang salop...lintek na Internet Explorer yan! Ewan ko ba, dati naman akong gumagamit ng Firefox bakit ba parang nabuwang ako na bumalik sa IE! Looking forward, balik Firefox ako at syempre pa sa tulong ng blog ng Batjay, kinalikot ko s'ya.

I swear kumapal ang buhok ko bumilis ang browser ko!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Money for Nothing, Books for Free

If your eyes happen to stray on my humble sidebar from time to time, you may have noticed that I'm starting to read Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin. I don't intend to bore you even with synopsis, though I'm expecting this to be a good one.

Reading is a habit I immerse myself only recently. I'm fully aware of the beauty of reading long before. It's just that neither I had the money nor the creativity and patience to acquire books when I was much younger. Besides, I busied myself doing despicable things (which I may or may not blog at all). Believe me, the ghetto I grew up had so much activities it would make you feel that reading is a waste of time. In retrospect, I know I should had known better.

I have to admit that public libraries here in Singapore are first-rate, at least compared to my beloved abode. Affluence bliss! For a one-time fee of S$10, I can borrow-- for the whole of my earthly existence-- 4 books or magazines for 3 weeks in any of their state-of-the-art libraries strategically located on the island republic. Borrowing and returning books are practically hassle-free without the assistance of the librarian.

I know for a fact that most bloggers are prolific readers. I would be grateful if you could recommend some good reads.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

National ID System

Recent terrorist bombings revived the need for the national ID system which Lacson (a fan of the "Father of Singapore", Lee Kuan Yew) said has been on the backburner since 2001. I hope our idiots lawmakers are jolted enough to make this happen.

It is true that you have to trade in a bit of your privacy and freedom if you want security. I guess the choice now is quite obvious. Except of course for left leaning groups, like Bayan Muna, who blabber against about anything and everything and yet always come short of realistic alternatives. Political opposition is beginning to be as annoyingly absurd as them. See Rez Cortez and Nino Muhlach lately on their midst? That how absurd they have become!

Don't misconstrued me as a fan of GMA either! She's despicable as well!!! It's just that the opposition is pathetically worse than her. Before I digress to much…

Nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

Basically, this ID will keep track of each and everyone (here in Singapore you are required to update your place of abode which is reflected on the IC) and legitimize existence. The logic is simple: you want big brother to protect you, let him know you exist.

This ID system can in fact simplify everything. Like here in Singapore, the IC (identification certificate or for us, ID) is the only requirement when dealing with about anything, including motel check-in. I discovered this few months back, with my wife in tow. Don't expect me to do a Freudian…hehehe!

Those who swear by true democracy is claiming that the ID system can be abused (as if without it you are not vulnerable). Maybe, but then again, once you weigh the pros and cons, the former will surely stand out. The system can be fine tuned to minimize the cons, anyway.

At the first glance of my IC number for my PR (permanent residency), I can't help but smile with the simplicity and ease of it. It was easily etched on my memory and I just love this number:


Talk about rhyme and reason…;)


"Release Misuari!"

This came from no less than Congressman Imee Marcos (just typing her name gives me that loathful shiver) and tough guy Davao Mayor Duterte.

Imee is saying that the rickety snail-paced wheel of justice precipitated the attack and it's best to release Nur. This would stroke terrorist's ruffled feathers and thus, will halt them from doing their evil acts. This is the same wheel that worked pretty well for them (the Marcoses). I'm wondering, why is she disenchanted with it now? There are two words that I can best describe long gone Ferdie, intelligent and greedy. Apparently, mademoiselle only inherited the latter.

I was aghast hearing it though from Duterte, the fearless unwavering mayor of Davao. Criminals, specially those minors and petty ones that were scythed out of the face the earth summarily, shudder just hearing his name. His tough stance made Davao one of the "most peaceful" place in Pinas. Cowed, huh?!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Coup de Grâce

This mindanao insurgency (I refuse to name it us Muslim insurgency, lest, I will be qualifying that this is about Muslim-Christian rift, which it is not) is perennial and it's about time we put an end to it. These bandits are criminals that should surrender or be obliterated;justice at all cost. Peace and prosperity in the south, and the country as a whole, can never be achieved as long there are self-styled armed groups.

It would be a blunder to call for a ceasefire at this juncture, unless the military is stupid enough not to know that ceasefires are only used as smokescreen to regroup and rearm. With these developments, the military is on higher moral ground and shouldn't waste the opportunity and momentum.

However, there are few things that the government should do for this "crusade" (maybe this word is distasteful as it also denotes the shameful medieval Christian war to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims).

Firstly, there should be media blackout. There's no doubt it would be messy. You don't want the carnage on both sides to be aired prime time and stir emotions high. Misguided groups from every quarters would surely be on the streets blurting how inhumane this military campaign is. Then of course, those good-for-nothing assholes politicians will ride with the issue and try to gain cookie points with rhetorics and grandstanding. We don't want politics, a malady by itself, to lick this issue. How I wish that they bring their rotten ass in Patikul and reason out with those barbarics. Secondly: Uncle Sam will surely be more than willing to "lend a hand" one way or another, to their best interest of course, and as always. Maybe their hands are already on the cookie jar, who knows. GMA should exploit it, discreetly though, and ask for support. We need all the help that we can get. But we can't allow their soldiers to be on the frontline, lest, we stir nationalistic sentiments. Thirdly: GMA was prudent enough when she announced that the war is waged only on Abu Sayyaf and MNLF-Nur Misuari wing and not on MILF and MNLF. For the time being that's well and fine; divide and conquer. But eventually, these groups should also be disarmed, the very least, to genuinely and effectively manuever the peace process. As long as they are armed, there can be no guarantee. Fourthly: Make do without foreign Muslim intervention, specially Malaysia. This country is all the while playing cloak-and-dagger with us and purportedly feeding the insurgency in the south to divert us from claiming Sabah. Darn! If they are really that concerned with their "brothers", why not just take them all in?!

We'd tried solving this age-old malady sitting down without an end in sight. If we want a lasting peace we should be willing to pay the price. If shedding blood is imminent and obligatory, so be it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sibling Rivalry

I was "relieving" myself when wife messaged me:

kol k haus away ung 2 computer!

It was my two boys "fighting" over the computer. I of course obliged and sort things out--a duty naturally assigned to me.

Lahat ng pwedeng pag-awayan eh pinag-awayan na yata!

Even with the 4-year gap, it is apparent that Arthur and Alex is "fighting" for dominance. Arthur being the eldest at 10 usually have the upper hand. Using his wits and built, figuratively and literally, he can bulldozed his way around. Time and again, I reminded him to be the one to give in since he is the eldest, though not in the presence of his siblings who may use it as a leverage. Alex is no push over either. At 6 and still very much a "baby", you expect him to give utmost resistance.

Most of the time, I let them have their arguments and, though very unlikely, settle the dispute among themselves as long as it is within tolerable decibel and no violence is employed.

Since Abby, my sweet little angel of 2, is beginning to tenaciously encroach on their "territories", I'm bracing myself for more of this...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Whenever I refer to our years of togetherness, I don't usually count from our wedding day. I take stock from the year of our amorous teenage bliss, it's been sixteen years since. That's close to half of my mundane existence and practically, my whole adult life.


Though there are fleeting moments when I think of what-could-have-been' s or the ones-that-got-away (I'll be a hypocrite not to say this), I can't imagine living my life without you and the kids…specially YOU. Darn, you worked really well in making sure I'm dependent on you in quite a number of ways! As if I'll die just being away from you.

At any rate, I'm grateful, feel blessed and indebted.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!!!


Just put your trust in me and not rely so much in your insecurities female intuition. One more thing: put the kids to bed early tonight, will you?…;)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Parang Ayoko Na Ata

Pauwi kami galing sa jogging ni esmi habang nakikinig ako sa bagong utang bili kong iPod mini. Pinakikingan ko ang isa sa mga kanta ng Parokya ni Edgar sa album nilang Bigotilyo.

Syempre pa, ako'y nadala at di napigilang sabayan ang kanta:

Parang ayoko na yata...
Nakakapagod din pala ang iyong mukha...
At kung may balak ka pang ulitin yon...
May ibubulong ako sayo...
putang ina mo!

Parang naasar s'ya, bakit kaya?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Truth Will Set Me Free?

One of my "girls" reported that her motorbike was vandalized last Sunday night. She was claiming that someone allegedly dismembered, of all parts, the brake system. Apparently, she already reported the matter to the security the next morning and just requesting me to do a follow up.

It may seem ill-fitted that I call them "my girls", but that's the way we call female subordinates here . It may matter not to you, but my job includes, amongst oodles, supervising all-female engineering operators (EO's) of diverse race and nationality who works 24/7.

It was obviously an issue of life and limbs so I took it with utmost urgeny and seriousness. I asked her to provide me with the nitty-gritty and a sketch of the location of the her bike. I know for a fact that the parking area are littered with monitoring cameras capable of recording, though there are numerous deadspots.

As expected, the security was vehemently defensive, saying that the location of the bike was so close to the security guard not to be noticed, that it can be a normal wear and tear undetected , blah blah blah, blah!

Spare me...

This guys have no idea that my work calls for logical reasoning and factual presentation of data, there's just no way I'll bite those craps!

Believing that it will get you nowhere by pushing someone off the wall, I tried diplomacy. I told them that I'm not discounting those possibilities, but definitely, I'm not discounting either that the bike was in fact vandalized. I told them whether we can review the recording and if it's not possible, what would it take for me to view them. Do I need to escalate the issue and get authorization from upper echelons? I knew the last one "convinced" them to take me seriously and agreed to let me do the ocular, less the brouhaha.

I was appalled! The timing wasn't just right on the tape, the bike wasn't even there to begin with!

"Are we sure we have the right tape?", then I went in my litanies of observations. These made them uneasy and told me that it was the actual tape, it's just that it wasn't synchronized.

"Kiss my ass panyeros!" I was actually smiling with this in mind.

Maybe really something happened on that night yet they were trying to hide it afraid of being branded as incompetents, this is serious. The lesser evil, based on "unsynchronized" recordings, is that they are maintaining a flawed security system. Both ways, they are screwed big time!

Knowing that is was pointless arguing about the authenticity of the tape, I let them have their reprieve and graciously (though I'm fuming to show them my middle finger) thank them for their "cooperation".

Since nothing really serious happened to my girl and knowing that I've teached those guys to take their job seriously, will I take it to rest? I am toying with the idea of upping the ante and escalate issue which will definitely put them in the hot seat.

But is it really worth the trouble?

Sometimes you can only push so hard to expose the truth. Yet this truth may not be collectively benificial, hence, right.

For them, I'll be their bad guy and mind you, these people have access to every nook and cranny. Being streetsmart (I grew up in a place short of a slum), I know it is not far-fetched that they can anytime set me up to get even.

As for my girl, I advise her to be more careful and observant. Anyway, the security promised to monitor the situation with utmost vigilance . I'm hoping (more of crossing my fingers) that I've seen the last of that issue. Else, I'll be playing hardball with them next time.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Dust Thou Art and to Dust Returneth

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the start of the 40-day Lent season.

That we'll all end up to nothing is humbling enough to make me reflect on the significance of my borrowed existence from time to time. Of course there were times, countless times, that I was proud and narcissistic. I strongly believe that is my karma, as well as everyone else, to rectify inherent flaws. I doubt it though that we will ever be absolutely triumphant even given numerous after lifes, that is if you believe in reincarnation.

I always believe that He sort of let us loose in a jungle called life with parameters mostly beyond our mundane comprehension. If we come out of the woods unscathed or perish in there is immaterial to Him. What matters is we did our best given the circumstances.

With prayers and His grace, may we yield not to temptations and deliver us from evil…

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bakit Nga Ba?!

Siguro may mga nagtataka sa inyo kung bakit kumuha pa ako ng educational plan sa Pinas para sa mga anak ko samantalang okay na naman kami dito sa Singapore. Maganda naman ang sistema ng edukasyon dito at hindi kamahalan.

Bakit nga ba?

Dalawang bagay yan parekoy...

Una, nananalaytay pa rin sa mga ugat ko ang pagiging makabayan at nangangarap na isang araw ay uunlad tayo bilang bansa. Uuwi kami syempre at doon ko na pag-aaralin ang mga bata. Pero papasok daw sa politika si Kris Aquino in 5 years time, so maaaring panaginip na lang ito.

Pangalawa, nothing is certain kaya dapat may plan B. Hindi natin masabi na baka dumating ang panahon na magiging obsolete ang raket ko dito. Maaring lumipat ang industriyang sinusuportahan ko dahil sa globalisasyon. Hindi uubrang mag-iibang raket ako at siguradong liliit ang dilhensya, so balik Pinas kami.

Tinitingnan ko rin yung angulo na makalipat ng ibang bansa. Target ko ang Australia or New Zealand, pero plano pa nga lang talaga. May mga application ako pero hindi seryoso.

Mahirap magpatalon-talon dahil sa mga bata...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

College Asshole Plan

It's is becoming oh-so-true that death and taxes are the only things certain in this world, even insurance is now a misnomer.

I am one of the many CAP planholders, the beleaguered pre-need company, whose heart is very much perturbed nowadays because of the company's seemingly imminent insolvency. I am pissed off not just for myself, who at least used disposable income to pay for the premiums, but more for those less well off who scrimped on their very basic needs just to make sure of a brighter future for their children and eventually alleviate their poverty.

It is also frustrating how the state is handling the issue. Putang inang yan! It's the usual circus and grandstanding. Although there is a reason to believe that First American Investment, lending few hundred million dollars, is a sham, nobody is lifting their big fat ass to verify it! It makes me also wail that although SEC is "forcing" CAP to comply, no timeline is given! Corrective action without timeline is pure hogwash!

Hindi mo tuloy maintindihan kung mga talagang tanga o nagtatanga-tangahan lang!

I completely paid my dues few years back but the most that I can get back is 65% of it. I also need to fly back home and be there for eternity! And knowing how rotten beareaucracy in Pinas, I might as well cross my fingers and just hope CAP to bounce back. It's practically not worth it!

It won't be surprising that people to lose faith in insurance and pre-needs. CAP is biggest and yet this happened!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Democratic to a Fault

I was watching Dong Puno Live and can't help but feel sorry how democracy is steering our country into the snake pit. Their topic was about the unfelt effect on the masa of the increase in GDP.

GDP is an accepted barometer of a country's economic health. And though in reality it is not expected that the miniscule improvement to trickle down on everyone's purse and dining table immediately, it's a collective improvement and should be a sign of jubilation nonetheless.

It's unequivocal that the masa is furious and cursing, you really have to respect that. Our media apparently, and most of the time, add up to the chaos and confusion by giving forum to militant or paramilitant group speaking their guts out and yet failing to provide realistic alternative solution. The last thing you need during a crisis is everyone's personal opinion blaring out in national television inflaming distorted views and sentiments.

Populist policies is one of evils that brought our country to it knees and democracy is its benefactor. Democracy, bordering into anarchism, is not a tool to economic prosperity. It's something good when the house is in order. But with a country like ours, what you need is control.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Finding Joan

Hosted by

Here is an email thread I received about a missing girl. A caveat though, I have yet to check on its veracity. I received this mail from someone active in the catholic church here in Singpore that's why I'm taking the plunge anyway and blog about it. Dissemenation of info is the best tool for missing person and in good faith, I hope something good comes out of this.

Here it is:

Pax Christi!

I am Willen Cabanes-Almedilla Sale of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Am initiating a cause to find An-An, my dearly missed cousin.

Joan "An-An" Cerona Almedille, a smart young lady, a loving daughter, a good friend and a wonderful cousin, has been missing for three years already. We, her family, are so worried and full of anxiety. But we are not at all hopeless in finding her back? We are not at all hopeless in giving back the long lost happiness of her grieving mother? AND IT'S BECAUSE OF YOU. It's because we know you're willing to be an instrument in the fulfillment of this mission. Please don't fail us. Please don't hesitate to somehow ease the wound in her mother's heart? PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AFTER READING THIS?

An-An departed for Brunei in December 2000, aiming to help in financing her family's needs, especially the medicines of her father who was then bedridden due to cardiovascular accident, hemiplegia. All she told us was that she was going to be a Cashier in a certain company, the name of which she didn't mention to us. We were somehow able to secure its alleged address:

Miles 2 Jalan Tutong
Badiah Complex
Bandar Seri Begawan
Negara, Brunei Darussalam

Months after she had left, she called up her mother, assuring the latter that she was doing fine in Brunei and telling her to always take good care of her ill father who was then the main reason of her having to work miles away from home. She regularly kept in touch since then. But after some time, her calls became less frequent. And a bit alarming. Her mother got confused and worried because in most instances, An-An always seemed to be in a hurry. Sometimes the line would even be suddenly cut without the two of them having said goodbye. When asked how her life was going on there, she would only tell her mother not to worry as she could handle things well. She never told anything about her work and the actual place she was staying.

Her last call was made in Sabah, Malaysia in March 2001, wherein she told her mother that she was sent for some task by her employer. Since then, she didn't make any communication. She merely vanished. And we could do nothing to stop the stream of tears from her mother's eyes. For how could we comfort our dear Tya Naning when even we are entertaining bad thoughts like An-An might have been maltreated by her employer or a victim of illegal recruitment? That she might now be imprisoned and full of bruises? These things have now become rampant anywhere in the world as often seen on TV and read from the newspapers. If ever this has indeed happened to her, we want her agony to be ended right away.

What made things worse was that An-An's father died on December 31, 2004. How could we greet Tya Naning a Happy New Year then? Burial was on January 6, 2005. And An-An did not even know of her dear father's death. My heart broke when as the coffin was laid down the grave, Tya Naning tightly embraced me with tears welling up her eyes and said, "How do you think is An-An feeling right now?"

The agony of Tya Naning as a searching mother and a lonely widow has now become so intense? Let us help her out please.

Please pass this message to everyone you know. For deep in our hearts we know that somehow this will eventually reach to someone who knows what's happening to An-An, wherever she may be. Thank you for doing your part. Thank you so much for your help.

(0918) 530-7225/ (088) 857-2715

Thursday, February 03, 2005

And Lean Not On Our Own Understanding

The catholic church here in Singapore decided to celebrate Ash Wednesday on a Friday of that same week. I find it quite amusing, no offence by the way. We might as well catholics, at least here in Singapore, call it Ash Friday. The reason is that this will fall on the first day of Chinese New Year on Feb 9. Majorities here are Chinese, so Chinese New Year is really a grandiose, comparable to Christmas season in Pinas.

I was tempted and itching to approach our parish priest and ask for lucidity. Why does culture and tradition takes precedence over a very important religious event? But then again, I decided not to, prudence got the better of me. Anyway, it's a fat chance that they will reconsider with my inquisitions. The best that I can probably get is euphemistic explanation and a smile. It's no big deal by the way, at least for me. No beef as long as is it not contradictory to, or skewed from the core fundamentals of my faith, which I tend to believe are common denominator for all monotheistic faith: one true God, social justice and practical compassion.

For me, anything inconsistent with these fundamentals is detestable to our Creator and destructive to humanity as a whole. That's why it think it makes sense that Jerusalem, since time immemorial, is in chaos. God is showing us HOW NOT LIVE OUR LIVES: intolerance to people of different faith, insisting one's faith is better, and using force to advance this fallacy and ludicrousness.

Just for your info, R&R--race and religion--are topics of discussions which are taboo here. Openly discussing the "infirmities" of other faiths or skin colors is practically outlawed.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Heto'ng Piso

Lumalakas na naman ang peso natin (P54.85=US$1), isang magandang senyales. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ito, wag sanang maudlot. Abot tenga rin si Ate Glo nang ipangalandakan n'yang mataas ang GDP (gross domestic product) natin. May potential naman talaga tayo bilang isang bansa. Sa katunayan nung nakaraang 1997 Asian crisis, isa ang Pinas sa mga di nabuwag.

Kailangan lang talaga ng matinding political will, hindi ubrang populist ang mga nakapwesto. Gaya ng issue sa VAT. Aminado naman tayo na matindi ang tax leakage at corruption, pero sa kalagayan ng bansa natin at sa kompleksidad ng problema, hindi uubrang ayusin lang ang problema, we will miss the boat ika nga--the boat to recovery and progress. Kailangan may containment. Dito papasok ang VAT. It's a bitter medicine that we have to swallow.

Dapat lang na tingnan mabuti kung alin ang mga dapat ma-exempt to maximize the gain and to cushion the impact sa mga mahihirap. Pero dapat in parallel, para may pakunswelo sa mga mamamayan, makita natin na seryosong inaayos ng gobyerno ang mga tax leakages at corruption.

Upbeat din ako dahil gumagalaw ang con-ass (constitutional assembly) para maging parliamentary/federal system tayo. So much for the check and balance na principle ng bicameral. We are too democratic to a fault. Naniniwala akong mapapabuti tayo kapag naging unicameral, bawas pulitika. I don’t intend to bore you with all the arguments at isa pa, lalayo tayo ng husto.

Anyway, di lang kayong mga nasa Pinas ang apektado ng pagtaas ng piso. Kami ring mga nasa labas ng bansa, adversely nga lang. Diluted ang buying power namin, pero sa akin okay lang yon. Ewan ko lang sa ibang utak ipis na mag-ngungungoyngoy na naman. Mas maganda naman para sa lahat kung susuriin mo yung bigger picture at long term effect nito.

At dahil masaya ako para sa bansa natin, share ko sa inyo ang kwento ni Inday...

Marie: "Inay, inay, may 20 piso po ako!"

Inday (Inay ni Marie): "Dyaskeng bata ka, saan galing yan!"

Marie: "Umakyat po ako sa puno, tapos dumaan si father, nakita n'yang wala akong panty. Ayon, pinababa n'ya ako at binigyan ng pera, pambili ko raw ng panty."

Inday: "O sige, sige, akina yang 20 mo at ibibili kita bukas. Maglaro ka na sa labas. Saan ba yung punong yon?"

Maya-maya lang…

Pagbalik ni father nadaanan n'ya si Inday na nasa taas ng puno.

"Hoy Inday, bumaba ka nga dyan! Hetong piso at bumili ka ng blade! Ahitin mo yan ha!"

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

No Complaint No Case

I am very much disturbed and astounded that the driver of the bus that rummage through a row of houses in a creek in Quezon city, killing two kids in the process, walk away with merely a slap in the hand. Apparently, practicallity got the better of the kids' parents that instead of filing a formal complaint, settled amicably for 250k pesos. Of course I'm not in the position to judge the parents' decision. Anyway, given their circumstances in life, most of us may probably agree with them.

I'm not well-versed in our laws but common sense tells me that something is not right. I opine, although I maybe wrong, that this is a criminal case and not civil. It should have been "people of the Philippines versus that fucking negligent driver or bus company". Our imbecile state should pursue the case. The bus company or driver can compensate the victims which is actually an admission of liability and can be seen as a mitigating factor, but not to absolve anyone's screw up. The least that the state can do is investigate what went wrong. Doing so would prevent, or at least minimize, recurrence. If it’s the driver's fault, let him pay dearly by sending him to jail and barring him from driving. If it's the bus company's fault, be it poor maintenance or any of that stuff, slap them with crippling fine to set a precedent.

For all we know, that same bus driver will be back behind the steering wheel of the same bus company, or another, in no time at all!

This kind of accident is relatively a daily dose in our newspapers, something trivial specially if you are not related to anyone involved. I just refuse to treat it as another entry in the statistics. Shiver went down my spine when I saw the footage in TFC (The Filipino Channel). Hitherto, gory images of those kids pinned under the bus make me queasy. And being a parent myself, I can't help but grieve for those kids.