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I just need some ideas.

Philippine Education / CDU Scholarship for Japanese Descendants
« on: October 25, 2010, 04:00:45 PM »
Applications for Our 6th Term Now Accepted

The 6th term of our Caregiver Scholarship Program will start in the first half of November this year. We are accepting applications now from third generation nikkeijin, dual Filipino-Japanese citizens, or Japanese nationals with Filipino blood who are presently based in the Philippines.

Grab this chance to train as a caregiver for free and have a sure, ready job when your arrive in Japan.

The Career-Service Japan of the Konoike Group has joined hands with world-class medical school Cebu Doctors University (CDU) in accepting training applicants among nikkeijins up to the third generation or prospective third generation (fourth generation whose koseki is being upgraded).

If you pass our interview, you will enrol at our intensive language course and special program with Cebu Doctors University. Training is for free--from transportation, tuition, dorm, plus living allowance!

For third-gen or fourth-gen nikkeijins, just prepare a clear copy of the latest koseki tohon of your first-generation Japanese ascendant (lolo or lola) and your family tree.

Please note that upgrading of your koseki ang visa documentation fees are not for free. But arrangements for easy payment terms may be made.

For those who can obtain visa on their own or through Certificate of Eligibility (COE) application by relatives, or those who already have visa, you will receive your training entirely for free plus living allowance during your three-month training.

For specifics, please PM your contact number or get in touch with me by phone or text message at 0917-640-9648.

I will communicate to you the e-mail address through which you will send your biodata.

Winnie Monsod video goes viral

By Lawrence de Guzman
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:38:00 10/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—A lecture on honor and excellence, as well as the importance of trying to pay back, by economics professor Solita “Winnie” Monsod has gone viral on the video-sharing website YouTube.

As of press time, the 10-minute video has reached over 210,000 views after it was posted last week.

Monsod, a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics in Diliman, Quezon City, and a Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, delivered her annual “last lecture” in her Economics 100.1 class on Oct. 5, wearing high heels that, she said, were “killing me.” The remark elicited laughter from some 350 students in attendance.

Then she imparted in 10 minutes what felt like “an entire course plus grad school” in a university, according to one viewer’s comment.

“You’re going to be as good and as honorable as you should be. You are going to stay in the Philippines. And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,” Monsod said.

“Excellence is not the only important thing that matters,” she said.

Stressing that the premier state university’s motto is “Honor and Excellence,” Monsod warned her students of the dangers of putting excellence before honor.

Honor first

“[It’s] honor first before excellence … And what is the fruit of honor and excellence? Is it not competence and integrity? In other words, if you have lived up to your promise and your potential as a university student, you are in a position to be part of the solution to this country’s problems, not part of the problem,” she said.

Monsod took a swipe at the UP alumni who have occupied or are occupying top positions in the government.

“If they were so good, why are we where we are now? And so you have to ask yourselves that. And part of the reason is because we have always looked at excellence, and not looked at honor and integrity,” she said.

The 70-year-old economist also said students would do well to stay in the country after graduating.

Going cyberspace

“If you are going to help this country, you’ve got to be in the country. If any of you have ambitions of going abroad so that you can earn more, please disabuse yourself, because by doing that, you are essentially betraying the people in the Philippines who trusted you and who invested their money in you,” she told her students, whose tuition at UP is subsidized by the government.

“And if you leave the Philippines, you are at least going to try to pay back,” she said.

The lecture, delivered at the school auditorium, found its way into cyberspace when Joe Drigo Enriquez, one of Monsod’s students, uploaded it on YouTube.

“This is no doubt one of the most moving [and entertaining] pieces of public lecture I’ve heard from a professor, and is definitely something that every Filipino must hear and watch,” Enriquez said, describing what he had done.

As of press time, the video of Monsod’s last lecture has stirred up nearly 800 comments on YouTube, most of them expressing appreciation. It has also been posted and shared over other social networking sites and blogs, creating discussions among web users.

Male22Maroon wrote: “I am so glad and so blessed to have been mentored by Prof. Solita ‘Winnie’ Monsod during my days as an economics student in UP. She’s really a great economist, educator and leader of the intelligentsia in this country.”

Said Gabrield7: “I’m not from UP, but this is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. And what she said is something that must hit everyone in this country. We definitely have to do something about the condition of this country.”

But not everyone agreed with Monsod’s views.

Commenting on Monsod’s Facebook fan page, Alex Timbol wrote: “I disagree strongly with her views that to help the country, one needs to be in the country … The return on work overseas, particularly for highly trained professionals, is significantly higher than it is in the Philippines at the moment, and working overseas may help individuals to accumulate human and financial capital to effect change.”

Market & Economic Trends / Bohol readies to be a call center hub?
« on: October 12, 2010, 08:18:02 AM »
Bohol Opens 10,500 BPO Seats
Manila Bulletin

October 4, 2010, 6:13pmTAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – Job prospects for information technology (IT) graduates  in Bohol glimmer as business process outsourcing (BPO) pops up in talks among local leaders and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

The possibility of a call center or BPO investment in the province has also been fueled by the fact that the Province of Bohol has the capacity to hold at least 10,500 call center seats in the island.

Bohol Governor Edgard Chatto made this pronouncement following the completion of the installation of a new fiber optic system that opens the entire province to investors in the BPO industry.

Chatto said the new fiber optic system, in effect, opens up an estimated 10,500 seats for call center agents in Tagbilaran City or in any other part of Bohol

BCCI President Joseph Norris Oculam earlier revealed that the Chamber, along with local officials are sealing the arrangements to convert corporate space at Tagbilaran’s Island City Mall into Bohol's first call center hub.

Such news have made several parents of Boholano call center agents in Cebu excited with the  prospects of having their children work in an environment closer to home.

Perceived as a good venue for business process outsourcing, Bohol has never failed to amaze information technology entrepreneurs who see the existence of competitive schools offering standard call center courses as a telltale sign of competitiveness.

Sources with the Bohol Investment Promotion Center said the need to put up fiber optic cables to integrate Bohol into the vast worldwide network was realized last year,

The formal ushering of Bohol into the rest of the world has also signaled the opening of the Bohol One Stop Shop (BOSS) for investment support now located at the BIPC.

Anonymous Diary Blog / At Home in Cebu
« on: June 04, 2010, 04:34:37 PM »
I've been home -- mostly in Cebu -- for more than a week now.

It's exhilarating to be home, to shift gear to an easy routine, and to interface more with people than with the computer screen (as was my previous daily grind). I am actually surprised that I have a lot of time to watch free concerts, with a choice of venue between Ayala and SM, after work. This was unimaginable before, when I was always in a frenzy 24/7 and yet felt grossly underpaid. I know I will get busier as the days go by, so I'm just enjoying my time while I still can in this soft transition.

I am surprised by Cebu's development. The Ayala area is slowly becoming a replica of Makati. Cebu is becoming not only an economic hub, but also a cosmopolitan city. The sad part is that alongside the glass buildings are shanties. Having been away for so long, it took sometime for me to absorb the flashy display of prosperity and the stark poverty--the latter seems to be the only thing that remains unchanged through the years.

I am still feeling my way around. I still find myself counting in foreign currency once in a while. But I've now learned to negotiate with the taxi drivers--and to demand for my 5-peso change. I now slowly remember the streets, but I don't know if I will ever have the confidence to drive in them.

My laptop is running low on battery. I'll sign off for now. Thanks for all the help.

Inspiration & Hope / What Filipinos taught an American missionary
« on: April 24, 2010, 08:53:11 AM »


James B. Reuter, S.J

When I came to the Philippines, I thought that I was a missionary.  Bringing to the
Filipinos  the  beautiful values of God.
But I discovered, when I got here,   that the beautiful gifts of God had arrived,  in the
hearts of the people,  long before I did.
It was a strange fulfillment of the truth in the Gospel;  “You have not chosen Me, but I
have chosen you.”
The desire to become a missionary came to me when I was seven years old, in Grade
Two, at Saint Mary’s Catholic School,  in Elizabeth, New  Jersey,  U.S.A.
It never left me.  I went to a Jesuit High School – Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City.  I was
fascinated  by  the gentleness,  the  wisdom,  and the genuine desire of the teachers to
show  us how to live according to the law of God.
So I became a Jesuit, and a missionary,  and I came to the Philippines.
I thought I was coming to give.  But I was not.  The Filipinos gave to me.  From them I
Learned  how natural it was for them to love God, by loving each other.
These are not just words. It is an amazing reality.  During the Japanese Occupation one
of my students, Ramon Cabrera, went into the underground.  He was picked up by the
Japanese.  They asked him to give the names of all his friends who were in the
He said:  “I don’t know any names.”
To  make him talk, they beat him in the mouth with a gun butt.  They broke out all his teeth.  They smashed his jaw and his nose.  Then they asked again for the names of his
friends in the underground.
He said:  “I don’t know any names.”
So they brought him to the cemetery, gave him a shovel, and told him to dig his grave.
He said:  “Dig it yourself!”
So they bayoneted him.  As he dropped to his knees, he looked up at the Japanese and
smiled.  And then he died.
“Greater love than this no man hath, that he  lay down his life for his friend” . . .
“Whatever you do for the least of these my little ones – you have done  it to ME”.
He would not give  the  names of  his friends in the underground.
At the age of 93, in the hospital with pneumonia, I am saying this to tell you – all of you,
my friends. . .
·         The Filipino has deep, strong courage. . .
·         He has courage enough to die for his friends. . .
·         He loves God with all his heart, because –
“Greater love for God no man has  - that he lay down his life for his friend. Whatever you do for the least of these, my little ones, you have done it to Me.”
What I discovered when I came to the Philippines was that the Filipinos do not need
I did.
And so I am deeply grateful to God for sending me here.
I did not choose Him.
He chose me.

I will be living in Cebu City for at least three months from June. I have never lived in Cebu but I am looking forward to this working stint for a Japanese consortium in the Philippines. My daughter intends to take up schooling at UP Cebu this school year, so I prefer the Lahug area. Sa atong mga kaubanan sa Cebu, naa ba mo'y marecommend nga apartment nga safe neighborhood para sa mga bata? Mas barato mas OK, 15K~20K ang budget. Thanks!

Manny V. Pangilinan's Keynote Remarks Inauguration  of the New Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University, 8th December 2009: Libraries are as old as civilization. From the 30,000 clay tablets found in the library of Ashurbanipal  at Nineveh, to the computers of a modern library – stretch more than five thousand years of man’s insatiable desire to establish written immortality, insure the continuity of culture and civilization, to share his wisdom, his dreams, his memory, and his story with the rest of mankind, and with future generations
Dr. Vartan Gregorian in his Keynote Address White House Conference on School Libraries: Libraries are as old as civilization-the object of pride, envy and sometimes senseless destruction. From the clay tablets of Babylon to the computers of a modern library stretch more than five thousand years of man's and woman's insatiable desire to establish written immortality and to insure the continuity of culture and civilization, to share their memory, their wisdom, their strivings, their fantasies, their longings, and their experiences with mankind and with future generations.
Manuel V. Pangilinan at the 8th Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility 26th November 2009: From the streets of Marikina to the flooded plains of Pangasinan, Filipinos should write the next chapter in their stories. Together, we should ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer, and better prepared, for the tragedies that may come
Barack Hussein Obama Katrina Anniversary 29th August 2009: From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories. And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come
Manuel V. Pangilinan at the 8th Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility 26th November 2009: These trials also remind us that we are tied together in this life, in this nation – that the despair of one touches us all
George W. Bush Hurricane Relief Address to the Nation 15 September 2005: And they remind us that we're tied together in this life, in this nation -- and that the despair of any touches us all.
Manuel V. Pangilinan at the 8th Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility 26th November 2009: But we must believe that that future will come -- that with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal, that adversity can give birth to hope, and the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future
Barack Hussein Obama Katrina Anniversary 29th August 2009: But we also remember that with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal. It is a quintessentially American notion – that adversity can give birth to hope, and that the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future
Manny V. Pangilinan Commencement Address Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan 23rd March 2007 : I just want you to do me a favor. Just one favor. Exercise your right to dream. Sure, you must face reality — that which is. But dream of a reality that ought to be — that must be.
Martin Luther King Jr: I just want young America to do me one favor, just one favor. Exercise the right to dream. You must face reality -- that which is. But then dream of a reality that ought to be -- that must be.
Manny V. Pangilinan Commencement Address Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan 23rd March 2007 : As for myself, I have always believed in the strenuous life, in the life of labor and effort. The highest form of success comes not to the man who desires easy peace or inherits instant wealth, but to the man who does not shrink from risks, from hardship, or from bitter toil
Theodore Roosevelt 10th April 1899: I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

Riding on the wave of accusations that the Catholic Church hierarchy all the way to Rome has been complicit in sweeping under the carpet the clergy's sexual offenses, the American media continues to hound Fr. Skelton who has a conviction of sexual misconduct in the US.

More snapshots of priests accused of abuse

By The Associated Press (AP) – 2 hours ago


Skelton was studying for the priesthood in Michigan in 1988 when he was convicted of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy and dismissed from his seminary.

He went to the Philippines, where he was ordained a priest in 2001 in the diocese of Tagbilaran in Bohol province. Today, at 48, he is parochial vicar of St. Vincent Ferrer parish in the town of Calape, according to the diocese directory. Reached on his cell phone, Skelton declined to comment.

The bishop who ordained Skelton said he wouldn't have made him a priest if he had known about the criminal conviction. But he added: "The priest is trying to live well. If he has really changed, the heart of the church is compassionate."

The archdiocese of Detroit, after learning Skelton had been ordained, sent a letter about his conviction to then-Bishop Tumulak in early 2003. Tumulak said he doesn't remember if he received the letter. In any case, he added, it would have been too late.

Informed of the case, current Bishop Leonardo Medroso said he would investigate. But he added: "He was convicted, and that means to say he has served already the conviction. So what obstacle can there be if he has already served his punishment or penalty?"

Photos Unlimited / First whiff of springtime Japan
« on: April 07, 2010, 12:09:29 PM »
Here are some snapshots taken during my two kids' vacation in Japan (FB friends, sensya na for the redundant post). Despite the erratic weather, the cherry blossoms are brightening up the surroundings on schedule. But such a glorious sight is expected to be around for only two weeks. That's why the Japanese invariably wax poetic over sakura. The best things in life are ephemeral--so breathe them in, relish those moments, seize the here and now! This moment is the only certainty we have of joy!

27010_416753891074_710401074_5622296_7854762_n - Show Posts - benelynne
The family--sans Sarah who's temporarily with her auntie in Bohol--greets the first buds of sakura at the Kasimagaura Lake Park in Tsuchiura City, about 80 km from Tokyo.

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Raya and Paolo taking a whiff of Japan's springtime air and refreshing themselves before the start of college life.

27010_416753971074_710401074_5622309_915578_n - Show Posts - benelynne
A father is only too happy to have his son tower over him.

27010_416753976074_710401074_5622310_472210_n - Show Posts - benelynne
A family that prays and relaxes together always gets the windmills behind them.

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Lynne with friends Dinah and Evelyn

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Tulips in blazing red

Health and Food / Impotence a sign of heart ailment?
« on: March 16, 2010, 07:29:52 PM »
Erectile dysfunction is strong predictor of fatal heart ailments, study finds

By Thomas H. Maugh II

March 16, 2010

For the first time, researchers have shown that erectile dysfunction is a strong predictor of the likelihood that men will die of heart disease.

Men who suffer from the problem, which some consider more an emotional than a physical issue, are twice as likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease or heart attacks as those who do not have the problem, German researchers reported Monday in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Assn.

Researchers have known for years that there is a link between erectile dysfunction, commonly abbreviated as ED, and heart disease, said Dr. Sahil Parikh, an interventional cardiologist from University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland who was not involved in the study. "But now there is pretty clear evidence that there is a substantially increased risk of heart attack and death when patients have erectile dysfunction."

The results are probably not too surprising, added Dr. Robert Kloner, a cardiologist at USC's Keck School of Medicine, "because arteries in the penis are smaller, so atherosclerosis shows up there sooner," perhaps three to four years before the onset of cardiovascular disease.

The take-home message, both experts said, is that when a patient seeks treatment for ED, typically from a general practitioner, he should be given a full physical work-up to look for heart disease and referred to a cardiologist.

"When they are treated aggressively early, we can prevent heart attacks and stroke and they can have many years added to their lives," Parikh said.

Existing guidelines for treating men with ED from the Princeton Consensus Conference already state that "a man with ED and no cardiac symptoms is a cardiac (or vascular) patient until proven otherwise." Kloner, a coauthor of those guidelines, said that when the guidelines are updated this year, they will probably carry a stronger recommendation that a patient presenting with ED get a cardiovascular examination.

Dr. Michael Bohm, a cardiologist at Germany's Saarland University, and his colleagues studied 1,519 men from 13 countries who were involved in a study of two drugs to treat cardiovascular disease. The men were also queried about their ED at the beginning of the study, two years into it and at the end at five years. A full 55% of the men had ED at the beginning of the trial, nearly double the normal incidence of about 30% in the population at large.

The team reported that, in the five years of follow-up, men with ED were 1.9 times as likely to die from heart disease, twice as likely to have a heart attack, 1.2 times as likely to be hospitalized for heart failure and 1.1 times more likely to have a stroke. The risks increased with the severity of the ED.

Disappointingly, the two drugs tested in the study, ramipril and telmisartan, did not improve the course of the ED.

That's not surprising, said Dr. Peter Pelikan, a cardiologist at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, "because it takes years and years and years to get any resorption of cholesterol" that would reduce blockage of the penile arteries. "The study was too small and too short to see that."

Many men with ED see a general practitioner or a urologist to get treatment and are prescribed drugs like Viagra or Cialis, Bohm said in a statement. "The drug works and the patient doesn't show up any more. These men are being treated for ED, but not the underlying cardiovascular disease. A whole segment of men is being placed at risk."

LGU Philippines / Unhealthy system driving away nurses and doctors?
« on: March 16, 2010, 06:41:14 PM »
EDITORIAL - Blame the system, not those who leave
(The Freeman) Updated March 16, 2010 12:00 AM

Roughly 200 hospitals around the country, many of them in the provinces and rural areas, have been reported to have closed down. And the reason given was that there were no more doctors or nurses to serve in them.

While that may be true, it is quite unfair to stop just there and not put things into context. To do so is to cast doctors and nurses in a bad light, making them appear as if all they want in life is go abroad and earn good money there.

First of all, let us not lose sight of the bottomline. And the bottomline is that doctors and nurses do not just save lives. They have to live too. And with the kind of salaries they are being given, especially in these hospitals, they will be dying first before their patients.

If it has not sunk in to those concerned, medicine and nursing have become among the most expensive college courses to take. Nursing in particular has become especially prohibitive, and for no other reason than that schools are cashing in on the demand.

The nursing boom of a few years ago, which in fact has grown bust by now, drove many young people to take up the course. But instead of the time-tested laws of supply and demand prevailing, something unique has happened in the Philippines.

Yet, for all the expense invested in taking up a nursing course, nurses are paid peanuts if they work here. Not only is it an affront to the dignity of a profession requiring great skills, it is also damning to perdition to be paid less than half of what a jeepney driver makes.

Many jeepney drivers never went to school. Most even secured licenses by greasing some palms so they do not have to take driving tests. Yet on a good day they make at least P500. Many nurses working in government hospitals are lucky if they earn half of that.

And yet we make it sound as if it is their fault that hospitals are closing because they prefer to work abroad. Perhaps the question to ask is -- has anybody made any effort to make it even just morally worthwhile to work here?

First you milk the nurses in school, then you starve them when they work. And you blame them for saying enough is enough? Instead of blaming those who leave, they should be declared heroes for finally standing up and fighting the rotten system.

San Pedro
March 11, 2010

HOW could a piece of property sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), and a lis pendens annotated upon its transfer certificate of title, land in the hands of a corporation called Crown Asia, owned and controlled by the so-called "brown taipan", Manuel Villar, who wants to be president of the land?

The 2.18 hectare property is in the vicinity of a swanky golf course called TAT, before that Filipinas Golf Course, and even before that, during the Marcos years, known as Holiday Hills, in the municipality of San Pedro Laguna. It straddles the boundary of the first town of Laguna with the last city of Metro Manila, and is now connected to the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) by an interchange, and to Las Piñas and Bacoor to a so-called Daang Reyna, which in turn connects to Daang Hari. Pretty good property, one must say.

It used to be titled to one Maximo Argana, remembered by many to be the feared and powerful mayor of Muntinglupa during the martial law years. When the dictatorship fell, the newly-created PCGG went after the unexplained wealth of Marcos, his cronies and other public officials. They went after Maximo Argana’s wealth, and this San Pedro property was one of them. Because Argana had meanwhile died, the PCGG attached an encumbrance upon the title, what is called a lis pendens, which means the property cannot be sold, leased, or otherwise encumbered while the case is pending. And up till today, that case pends before the Sandiganbayan.

Meanwhile, the informal settlers who had stayed in the property by tolerance or sufferance of the registered owner, Argana, had hoped that when the government finally got full leave of the court to confiscate the San Pedro property, they could apply for land ownership under the social justice programs of the State.

Their hopes brightened with the enactment of the Urban Dwellers Act during the Cory administration, otherwise known as the Lina Law.

But lo and behold! In the year 2000, a corporation called Crown Asia suddenly claimed ownership of the property, on the basis of a deed of sale executed between it and Capitol Bank. Both Crown Asia and Capitol are owned and controlled by the spouses Manuel and Cynthia Villar. Crown Asia, along with its sister corporations, had already acquired other properties in the vicinity, which it was then developing into medium and high-end housing projects.

How did this happen? There was a lis pendens on the property, and a check with government agencies, including the Office of the President shows that the Argana title should not and must not be the subject of a deed of sale, not even a contract of lease, for as long as the courts would not lift that lis pendens (or pendente lite, which means pending legal resolution of the case.

But apparently, Capitol Bank foreclosed the property from a certain Jose Nunez, who failed to pay a short-term loan, and made no effort whatsoever to restructure or re-schedule the loan, as most are wont to do, but instead, immediately had his property foreclosed by the Villar bank. And the Villar’s Capitol Bank turns around and sells the property also immediately, to Crown Asia. Seems like this is a pattern, a modus operandi of the Villar’s interlocking corporations.

In 2002, Villar’s Crown Asia posted security guards and then ordered demolition of the settler’s houses. The demolition squad succeeded in destroying 30 houses and led to the killing of Quirico "Rico" de los Santos, a leader of the neighborhood association of poor informal dwellers called ironically, Paradise Park. But the informal settlers resisted and they remain there to this day, their Paradise Park Neighborhood Association knocking from one government agency door to another, hoping to seek justice and their urban dwellers’ rights under the laws of the benighted land. There are now some 205 family houses walled inside the 2.18 hectare property, with no basic services such as electrical connections and water. They have to walk to buy expensive retailed water and inter-connect or share one electricity source. Guards of the neighboring walled subdivision, armed with shotguns strictly monitor their movements. They are not allowed to bring in construction materials even to repair their rickety dwellings.

Is this another racket where fake titles are produced surreptitiously, and prey on helpless landowners, such as the Dumagat and Remontado farmers in Norzagaray, Bulacan (read our articles of February 25 and 27, Malaya)? In Norzagaray, the titles issued during the Japanese occupation, which under Commonwealth Act 141, as amended, have been declared null and void, were "foreclosed" by Capitol Bank, and then paid in kind to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which had earlier issued an emergency loan to the said Villar-owned bank of 1.5 billion pesos.

In San Pedro, property encumbered in temporary favor of the Republic of the Philippines, pending resolution of a sequestration case, is suddenly claimed by a family corporation which "bought" the property from the same family-owned bank, which in turn foreclosed the same from a person, fictitious or real, who "borrowed" a short-term loan and "failed" to pay.

But the Paradise Park homeowners are now in mortal fear of imminent ejection, should this "poor man turned billionaire", whose heart "bleeds for the poor", and who makes a holy vow (panata) to end poverty (tatapusin ang kahirapan), become president. Truly, night will fall upon the lives of these poor people "squatting" on government-owned land. Because if Villarroyo succeeds with his money, and buys the presidency come May 10, 2010, with secret help from the woman who replaced the man he impeached in 2000, then the "government" and their nemesis will be one and the same.

"Mayaman na siya. Huwag na niyang agawin sa amin ang karapatan na manirahan sa lupang hindi naman kanya", said Aling Gloria Barrameda of the Paradise Park Neighborhood Association , who along with some 40 other settlers marched and picketed the front of the historic Laurel House that Money Villarroyo bought two years ago, and from whence he launched his quest for the presidency.

The man who claims to have shared the tribulations of the poorest of the poor, who used to live in a single-room house with his entire family (but transferred as a kid later to a 560 square-meter property in San Rafael Village in Balut, built by his government employee of a father and his industrious fish merchant of a mother) and used to sleep in a narrow bench in Divisoria market (but was schooled in a Catholic parochial school where he and brood were fetched by a stainless steel owner-type jeep), and virtually mocks the toil and sacrifices of his truly industrious parents in order to propagandize alleged poverty, now sends his guards to confiscate property held by the Republic, at the expense of poor, landless settlers, one of whom was executed by his unknown security guards.

As Aling Gloria stated in poignant anger: "Sa ginagawa niya sa aming mahihirap, kasinungalingan ang sinasabi niyang siya ay para sa mahirap at siya ay may malasakit. Siya ang tunay na pasakit. Siya ang tunay na pahirap".

LGU Philippines / Boholano busted for cocaine, link to politics probed
« on: March 05, 2010, 10:51:01 AM »
Narco-politics and the elections
March 05, 2010 07:06:00
Cebu Daily News

Two candidates and a barangay captain in Cebu and Bohol are reportedly being investigated due to their links to illegal drugs.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) claims these three have history of arrests due to their alleged involvement in illegal drugs trade.

The investigation was announced after a tricycle driver from Bohol was arrested for trying to sell 12 medium packs of cocaine worth P720,000 to policemen who posed as buyers in barangay Capitol Site on Monday afternoon.

Vedasto Jubahid Corsiga, 54, later led the police to an abandoned shanty in Borongan town, Samar where a kilo of cocaine worth P6 million was seized.

The arrest of Corsiga confirmed intelligence reports that cocaine, a preferred illegal substance of the rich, has penetrated Cebu.

Corsiga's arrest as well as the ongoing probe of the three politicians in the region happened to be a loose thread in the web of narco-politics that supposedly swept across the country based on a claim by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

What gave the PDEA report some credence was a United States government advisory that supposedly warned the national government about the possible involvement of powerful drug lords with ties to the South American cartel that may help influence the course of elections.

As if Filipinos don't have enough problems trying to understand how the automated elections work and sifting through the promotional gimmicks of national and local candidates, now they have to deal with the moneyed death grip of drug traffickers.

To be sure, most voters are wary and uncompromising when it comes to drug traffickers but the problem lies in verifying who among these candidates are backed by drug lords.

According to Sen. Richard Gordon, who is running for president, a recent rice shipment from Vietnam supposedly contained a sizable cache of drugs and entered the company through Bacolod, Iloilo and Capiz.

It would be quite easy for the national government, specifically senators to call on the US government to issue the names of these candidates.

But there is protocol to observe and the Americans certainly would provide all the information needed.

Arresting drug traffickers, however, isn't as simple as obtaining a shopping list of names.

There is plenty of legwork to be done by all the agencies concerned. The national government should do its homework in order to effect the arrest of these pushers and traffickers and stem, if not totally stop the flow of drugs in the country and not just during this year's elections.

Why I will Vote for Noynoy Aquino

    Monsod's Musings
    Winnie Monsod

    Villar still refuses to attend the Senate to face questions, and it only reminds me of how GMA used the privilege of her office to avoid questioning. What will happen if Villar wins and more corruption scandals surface?With Villar catching up to Noynoy in the polls, I am honestly quite terrified of the prospect of him winning. There is a clear case of graft in this instance, and instead of delving into the issues, his allies in the legislative are simply brushing off the allegations as "politically motivated". As a citizen, we should not accept this. If there is smoke, we must see if there is a fire that needs to be put out. Yes, the timing of the allegations seem a bit off. ( Joker Arroyo was pushing these issues as early as 1998). A known crook and political opportunist, Juan Ponce Enrile, is the person leading the censure. However, when the facts are presented, it is clear as day that something is amiss. It just further builds on my strong suspicions that Villar is a businessman simply looking to control the political arena to make a boat load of money.I have never trusted Villar since day one. I never trust businessmen who enter politics, because in the end, their core value is and always will be profit maximization. It is well documented that Villar's real estate empire ran into some serious financial problems when his overexposure to the real estate market and the Asian Financial Crisis made him unable to pay debts he took out to expand his real estate business in the early 1990s. After the Asian Crisis hit, Capitol Bank, owned by Villar and heavily exposed to his real estate investments was essentially ran to the ground and needed to be bailed out. In 2005, Villar tried to solve his debt problems by hiring a group of investment banks to advise him on how he can consolidate all his assets into one company (Vista Land). With the local and foreign investment bankers, Villar came up with a growth story for investors: "Invest in my company because we need it to fund all these wonderful project!" However, what was downplayed during the IPO roadshow was that instead of financing growth, resources from the offering would be used to finance his debt. To appease creditors, Villar even had his investment bankers pitch some form of a debt-to-equity conversion that raised skeptical eyebrows of many. In 2007, the IPO of Vista Land did not do as well as planned, in part because many investors and brokers were the same people who were burned by Villar's inability to pay back his loans.Now, as part of a corporate growth (or should I say corporate restructuring) plan, Villar is lusting for the highest position in the land. This scares me because Villar already has a track record of using his political position to gain the upper hand for his businesses. To save his empire and increase shareholder value of his business, Villar used his influence as Senate Finance Chair to shrewdly derail a Cavite road project that was supposed to be BUILD, OPERATE, and TRANSFER. Villar built a longer and more expensive road, the C-5 extension, adjacent to it; subsequently forcing the private investor in the initial project to pull out. The fishy thing is that this new road, longer and more expensive than the previously planned project, passed through all of Villar's land in Cavite. It is a clear case of graft, pointing to Villar use of influence and government funds to substantially improve the values of his real estate properties. To add insult to injury the right of way the government would have to pay in order to complete the project was substantially higher for the land that Villar owned. These funds could have easily been used to build needed schools.This scandal should be a red flag for all voters. However, the scary part is that Villar is spending billions to keep this out of the picture as he continues his attempt to brainwash our masses that he is their saviour. He convinces the masses that he is one of them. A poor boy from the slums of Tondo. In actuality, he is more like the 5-6 and syndicates, slum dwellers themselves who make a profit out of their poor brethren. Villar's ad agencies are doing an excellent job of maintaining this image as well as doing damage control. TV and radio continues to churn out Parokya Ni Edgaresque jingles that compete with "Nobody, Nobody." Dolphy is Villar's new spokesperson and Wowowee is one giant ad for him. In this process of brainwashing, the masses are not cognizant of how Villar conducts business as a politician. What they do not see is a man hell bent on turning our archipelago into his own personal piece of real estate.It is sad that the efforts of Juan Ponce Enrile, who is leading the censure for Villar, is actually giving Villar more sympathy votes. People do no trust Enrile, and when Enrile pounces on someone, it is usually met with a high degree of skepticism. I do not blame people for feeling this way. I also think Enrile is a crook who should be jailed for conspiring to implement Martial Law, for coup attempts, and for the human rights abuses during the Marcos regime. If someone with a more respectable reputation were to level these charges on Villar, I am sure the surveys would tell a different story.
    I also fear from some credible reports that Malacanang has actually made a deal with Villar (under the table). Essentially, GMA's goons said, "We will help you, in return, leave us alone when you win". Villar's behaviour in recent forums further adds credence to these reports as Villar has been very tame and quiet when it comes to how he will treat GMA after the elections. Appealing to common sense, it makes ALL THE SENSE for GMA to support someone who has a chance of winning, not a person rating at 4% in the surveys. GMA tried to reach out to Noynoy after Tita Cory died. All she got was rejection.

    Who can stop Villar in his quest for the presidency?

    I am known to be a Noynoy supporter, but to those skeptics and to those who are still undecided, I do concede that he is not perfect. His record as a politician is average and unspectacular at best. He does not have the charisma of his father. Before the death of his mother, he did not get much mileage. But I am going all out in support for Noynoy in 2010 because he stands for clean governance and appear willing to accomplish this. In addition, he has the best chance of preventing a opportunistic businessman, the assured next President of our country before Cory died, from using the Office of the President as a personal growth asset to his business empire.

    Noynoy's clean record is a big plus for me. It is a trait that I think should be the most important quality that we should look for in our next president. His appeal is that his track record is not tarnished by corruption scandals and his political debts are minimal. I know that many critics are trying to make an issue over his involvement in Hacienda Luisita, but Noynoy is not even heavily involved in the company. As a shareholder, Noynoy only owns .04% of Hacienda Luisita, a drop in the ocean and hardly in any position to do something about it. The case of the Hacienda does not have the substance that the C-5 extension controversy has a lot of.

    In addition, Nonoy also has an incredible legacy to live up to. All the pressure is on him to be clean and stay clean. He can't afford to tarnish the Aquino name and the immense legacy that his parents left behind. Cory and Ninoy practically sacrificed their family for their dream of a better Philippines. For Noynoy, to know that your father and mother went through so much hardship to improve our country is a heavy burden to think about if you do decide to become a crook and destroy everything that they fought for.

    We all have to make a choice. In my opinion, it has to go to the presidentiable who has an independent mind, stands up for what he believes in, is clean, and has the legacy his parents to live up to and maintain. For me, Nonoy, with all his flaws, is that candidate. For what this
    country needs is a clean president who can set an example top-down for the entire state; it needs a president with the will to change things and stamp out corruption; it needs a President who can set an example and is willing to perfect our dysfunctional democracy.

    I want someone who stands for being clean. He does not need a degree from Harvard. He does not need to have a multi-million peso business to show me he can make us all rich. He does not have to speak well. He just has to be clean. Nothing else should matter. He has to prioritize a platform of clean and effective governance and make sure that it delivers on that promise. Policies on the economy, education, energy, environment and health can all follow after the fundamentals are taken cared of. So far, the only candidate who promotes my vision with a clean record to back it up is Noynoy.

    Our urban landscape is replete with political slogans that attempt to convince people of certain candidate's ability to lead our nation

    Galing at Talino? Sorry Gibo, those were the supposed qualities of GMA, rubber stamped with a Phd in Economics. And what happened? She only worsened our economy. To GMA's credit she did balance our budget at one point, but it has again ballooned to the level where the next president will have to deal with the same economic issues she faced in 2005. During GMA's watch investment in infrastructure was insufficient, poverty incidence worsened, public education deteriorated, our nautical highway is still incomplete, goons like the Ampatuan's flourished in the south, and a culture of corruption flourished in our institutions. Instead of creating jobs, GMA focused on a policy of exporting labor without measuring the social costs of such a policy- thousands of broken OFW families and children of OFW's who do not have the proper parental supervision to teach them the differences between right and wrong. In effect, our next generation is left on their own to figure out how to become empowered patriots who love their country and will fight to defend it. In effect, whatever statistics in GDP growth GMA and her allies love to advertise, non of it trickled down and benefitted the poor..and none of it accounts for the social costs to her policies.

    Good speaker? Sorry Gibo, Marcos had that quality and he did nothing good for our contry. In fact, Marcos squandered the opportunity to be our Lee Kuan Yew and Dr. Mahatir. If I want a good, charismatic, and eloquent speaker, let's just run down the list of effective public speakers and vote them in.

    Para sa mahirap? Sorry Erap, you had your chance and failed miserably. Your only accomplishment is in convincing our masses that movie roles do not carry over into the political area.

    My only concern with Noynoy is how deep he might be in the Liberal Party and whether he has accumulate political debts to Liberal trapos. The Liberal PArty, like any party, has its own share of crooks (including those bandwagon trapos who jumped off GMA"s boat to ride on Aquino's popularity). How much will Nonoy have to give back to the Liberal trapos (and bandwagon Liberals who jumped GMA's ship) if elected? We will never know. However, I am willing to live with that unanswered question if it means preventing someone like Villar from turning the Philippines into Vista Land's next subdivision development. I am also reassured by the fact that he has that "Aquino" name and the ghosts of his parents to answer to if does decide to go down the immoral path.

    Nonoy will not solve all our problems. One person can't. But we need a start somewhere and it should be with someone who pushes honesty, reform, and good governance. It will be a tough battle, but I want to give Noynoy the chance to build on what his mother tried to accomplish. And I hope that if Noynoy wins, he will have the courage to make tough decisions and go after crooks, even if it means hurting a lot of friends and colleagues in government.

    To give you a better sense on how Villar conducts business, here is also a link to Joker Arroyo's 1998 privilege speech:
    http://www.malayang 26/joker- arroyo-raises-issue- of-accountability-of-public- officers-against-manny- villar/

    Actual notes scanned: http://www.scribd. com/doc/22789941/Joker- Arroyo-Privilege-Speech

    I guess "if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck.." Well, as the saying goes......

    Vote wisely Philippines. And continue to work towards uplifting the masses and freeing them from their state of hopelessness. Defend them from opportunists. DEVELOP THEM (FIRST) SPIRITUALLY AND BEHAVIORALLY; THEN ECONOMICALLY! When we lift up the poor and ween them off the mentality of hopelessness, our country will become first world. Only then will we have the powerful middle class that our young democracy is screaming for.

    Winnie Monsod

Love Talk / To Single Ladies: Choose Your Man Like the Eagle
« on: March 03, 2010, 09:13:40 AM »
I was recently asked to deliver a message on love to close the Valentine month, and I just found this heart-warming piece on how a female eagle chooses her male partner. Ladies, I think you can learn a lot from this.


(As told by the Wintu Tribal Elders of California)

When it comes time for the female Eagle to choose her mate, she prepares herself for many suitors. And many come before her. She looks them over quite well and then picks one to fly with for awhile.

If she likes the way he flies she finds a small stick, picks it up and flies high with it. At some point she will drop the stick to see if
the male can catch it. If he does, then she finds a larger stick and flies with it much higher this time. Each time the male catches the
sticks, she continues to pick up larger and larger sticks. When she finds the largest, heaviest stick that she herself can carry, the stick is at this point almost the size of a small log! But she can still fly very high with this large stick.

At any time in this process, if the male fails to catch the stick, she flies away from him as her signal that the test is now over. She begins her search all over again. And when she again finds a male she is interested in, she starts testing him in the exact same way. And she will continue this "testing" until she finds the male Eagle who can catch all the sticks. And when she does, she chooses him, and will mate with him for life.

One of the reasons for this test is that at some point they will build a nest together high up and will then have their Eaglettes. When the babies begin to learn to fly, they sometimes fall instead. It is then that the male must catch his young. And he does!

Site picks 'Unusual Places for Romance'
Published: Feb. 5, 2010 at 7:45 PM

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A U.S. tourism Web site's list of "Unusual Places for Romance" includes cities with amorous names and an island shaped like a heart.

Topping's list was Heart Island, N.Y., a heart-shaped island home to Boldt Castle, a century-old structure that now hosts weddings.

The Manhattan Beach, Calif., based Web site said Kissing, Germany, was chosen due solely to its name, while Oregon's Hug Point State Park boasted a name evocative of affection as well as romantic views for lovers of nature.

Fourth on the list were the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Philippines, which VirtualTourist said resemble "something out of a Tim Burton movie," despite being natural formations.

Finishing off the list was Valentine, Neb., chosen not only for sharing its name with the most romantic day of the year, but for the scenic splendor of the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge.

More ‘skip trips’ in Bohol eyed
December 27, 2009, 2:47pm

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – As more and more people inquire about additional day tours popularly known as “skip trips,” many tour and travel agencies are eyeing collaboration with SuperCat Fast Ferries Seacrafts Inc., in possibly launching additional packages in 2010.

Lourdes Sultan, the Managing Director of one such agency, Travel Village, said that with the numerous good feedbacks they are receiving from their clients, they are thinking of organizing more day tour packages next year.

“We are going to launch at least eight more packages next year, which will now include an over night stay so that our clients will have more options to choose from,” she said.

Sultan explained that since the province has opened new tourist destinations like the town of Danao – approximately three hours away from the port area - with its adventure rides and zip lines, an overnight stay package would be a good option for visitors intending to check out the place.

She added that for tourists who want to go on a night cruise at the famous Loboc River, an overnight stay is highly recommended.

Presently, the agency is offering a one-day tour package which features a tour to Baclayon Church and museum, lunch while cruising Loboc River and trips to the Chocolate Hills, the Butterfly Farm, and other places worth seeing before returning to Cebu at the end of the day.

The so-called skip trip is an original collaboration between Travel Village and SuperCat where the former provides the itinerary for a day tour in Bohol, while SuperCat handles the transportation from Cebu to Bohol and back to Cebuvice versa.

Talk of the Town / Hayden Kho slips through Bohol ban
« on: December 28, 2009, 10:34:58 AM »
Hayden Kho confirms Bohol getaway with Vicki Belo

MANILA, Philippines – Embattled doctor Hayden Kho confirmed reports that he and his former girlfriend, Dr. Vicki Belo, have recently spent time together in Bohol.

In a taped interview done at his new bar along Tomas Morato in Quezon City, Kho shared that while in Bohol Belo mostly talked about her plans for the future.

Kho also maintained that they went there for “bonding” session only.

“Galing kami ng Bohol. Bonding lang. Wala siyang kasamang pumunta ng Bohol kasi gusto niyang pumunta. Ako, hindi pa ako nakapunta. Nagkayayaan lang… We talked about her plans for the future,” Kho told “The Buzz.”

Reports said Kho and Belo, who broke up due to his affair with actress Katrina Halili, were spotted in one of the province’s tourist spots. In his previous interview, Kho declined to say if Belo was with him during his vacation in Bohol.

He also shared that Belo had once visited his bar, and that he was happy to see his former girlfriend’s approval of the place.

“Isang beses pa lang siyang nagpunta… Nagandahan din siya, which is good. Parang nakita niya na kahit magkahiwalay na kami ng landas, I’m still up on my own 2 feet,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kho, one of the most controversial personalities this year, is looking forward to a fresh start in 2010.

He said: “I do plan to make amends with some people... build relationship, start slowly [and] develop new friendships.”

He also plans to appeal the decision of the Professional Regulation Commission to revoke his medical license due to his involvement in the sex video scandal.

Kho reiterated that he regrets videotaping his most intimate moments with various women, some of whom were movie and television personalities, as he branded his actions as "very stupid.”

He is, however, positive that people will eventually forget about the scandal.

“Kung akala natin hindi na makakalimutan yang mga videos na yan, makakalimutan din yan eventually,” he added.

Bohol Latest News / Tagbilaran airport to be converted into a business park
« on: December 28, 2009, 10:26:26 AM »
Written by Willy Rodolfo III / Reporter
Business Mirror
Sunday, 27 December 2009 19:13

THE Central Visayas Regional Development Council (CVRDC) has endorsed for funding the feasibility study on the proposed Bohol Business Park, which will rise from the existing Tagbilaran City domestic airport.

With the construction of Panglao International Airport expected to go in full swing, the old airport was planned to become a new center for business and investments and has received full endorsement from the local governments of Tagbilaran and Bohol.

According to CVRDC economic development committee chairman Ernesto Quiamco, the development of the old airport is also part of the 10 in 2010 Development Agenda of Bohol.

“The agenda envisions the establishments of nonagricultural economic drivers for the province of Bohol,” Quiamco said. He said the business park proposal is also part of their response to President Arroyo’s order to study the privatization of the old city airport.

The CVRDC resolution will be sent to the office of the President whom they are asking to fund the prefeasibility study.

He said the business park intends to develop a high-quality business area and environmentally-friendly light industrial complex. It will also be a site for mixed, but complementary prime areas for commercial, business office spaces, tourism and high technology uses to stimulate economic growth.

The old airport is about 8.7 hectares in size, mostly owned by the provincial government with a smaller section owned by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Tagbilaran city government.

Bohol was once one of the poorest provinces in the country and a hotbed of communist insurgency. Huge infrastructure investments and development, however, positioned the island province as one of the biggest tourism draws of the country as well as an agricultural center.

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