Friday, March 30, 2007
Reading the Philippine Star, I agree with editor Anna Marie Pamintuan and columnist Alex Magno that Ducat should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, because if he's not, others will probably try to do the same, and, if it happens again, the outcome might not be as peaceful as Wednesday's resolution.
I disagree with Cito Beltran, who tries to wax eloquent and paint Ducat as Don Quixote. I wonder how Beltran would feel if it was his kid who was in that bus; would he be so effusive with praise for Ducat. Ducat is no Quixote; Quixote never endangered children willingly. Ducat is no Robin Hood; Robin Hood would not go to such lengths to fight against the corrupt Prince John.
There are saner ways to speak up against corruption; as Pamintuan said in her column, "being a philanthropist does not give anyone a license to come unhinged and become a public nuisance." One should not put children in the line of fire to be able to make his or her voice heard.
The other point I'd like to comment on was the fact that Ilocos Sur Governor and senatorial candidate Luis "Chavit" Singson was on hand to receive Ducat's surrender; he also gave out P500 to each of the children. Rumors started flying that Singson engineered the whole thing to prop up his flagging chances at getting elected. It's probably not the case, although one has to wonder, considering Singson's own spotty record.
Still, politicians have no business interfering in what is essentially a police matter, and, whether he schemed the whole thing or not, it's clear that Singson aimed to score brownie points by being visible at the end of the crisis, to make it look as if he's the good guy who made the surrender happen.
Stricter measures should be taken in dealing with situations like these. The police have to be able to control the situation, particularly the crowd and the kibitzers. Otherwise, we will probably have to expect another crisis, and we will only have ourselves to blame.
Anna Marie Pamintuan
UPDATE: Having read Ducat's children's comments about the rightness of their father's actions, I wonder what Ducat is teaching his children. True, they are teenagers, and probably not aware of the ramifications or the implications of their father's actions, but to recklessly endanger children to be considered as something right to do, in order to make one's demands heard? I simply cannot agree with that.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
In the Philippine Star this morning, Pampanga 2nd District Representative Mikey Arroyo, the son of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo explained that, despite the fact that his brother Dado is running for Congress in Camarines Sur, his uncle Iggy "Jose Pidal" Arroyo is aiming to be reelected to Congress in Negros Occidental, and his aunt Marilou Arroyo, Iggy and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo's sister, may be running for Congress in the Western Visayas region or as a party-list nominee, the Arroyos are not building a political dynasty. His reasoning is that they're running in different areas, and have different constituents. Therefore, how could there be a dynasty?
I had to run the statement through some of my co-teachers, and they were of the same mind. Somehow, the fact that there are four Arroyos running for Congress stinks to high heaven, because it simply means that they're spreading the corruption around. It's not enough that they take over one province; they have to target several.
If all four somehow manage to win (and with GMA's backing, it's probably a foregone conclusion), that means that there will effectively be an Arroyo bloc in the House of Representatives, four family members out to protect their own interests.
It's the same in other parts of the country, as various dynasties continue to maintain their stranglehold on local politics. In Davao City, reelectionist Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has chosen his daughter, Sara, as his running mate. In Pangasinan, the wife of the governor will run in his stead, while her husband tries his luck as a Congressional candidate. And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
As long as there is no law banning political dynasties (and, with the dynasties firmly in control, there probably never will be one), the dynasties will continue their feudal grip on our nation's development, which can only continue to stunt our political growth.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Oh, well. C'est la vie. Better late than never.
The pork barrel funds are a continuing source of corruption in our government, considering that there is no reason for these funds to exist at all. Our legislators are lawmakers, not members of the executive branch. The congressmen and senators' purpose is to craft laws, not earmark projects for their respective districts.
The funds are also used as a means by the government to ensure the subservience of the congressmen, especially mercenaries like Davao del Sur's Douglas Cagas. In July, we'll see which of our congressmen have decided to worship at the altar of the government, by fattening themselves at the expense of the Filipino people.
The GO's other problem is the perception that they remain divided over various issues. This is not surprising, considering that the GO is a collection of various ideological/political groups, which aren't always in synch.
As long as the GO remains divided and disorganized, the initial survey results pointing to a dominant show in the senatorial race will be so much smoke come election day.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Flavours of China, of course, focuses on Chinese cuisine. However, while the prices were a little lower, the quality of food isn't as great as either Mann Hann or Luk Foo. We ordered their szechuan chicken with nuts, of which Hazel has become enamored lately, and Yang Chow fried rice, one of our staple orders in Chinese restaurants, with a side of pork siomai. The chicken was flavorful, and fairly tender, while the Yang Chow was a little short on the meat and veggies that it normally comes with.
Penang Hill, in Shangri-La Plaza, serves Singaporean cuisine, and, of course, the main dish to try is the Hainanese chicken rice. I ordered this, and wasn't disappointed. The chicken was tender and juicy, and the spices that accompany the dish, the thick, sweet soy sauce, the crushed ginger and the hot sauce, helped add a zesty flavor to the chicken. Accompanying it was a peppery hot broth, which I consumed with gusto. It wasn't Lolo Mao's, but it came pretty close.
I forgot the name of the dish that Hazel ordered, but it was rice with dried dilis-like fish, spicy kangkong, and a serving of chicken curry. It was too spicy for Hazel, who wasn't able to finish it all. I tried some of it, and I liked it, especially the kangkong, although I'm very partial to hot dishes.
Between Flavours of China and Mann Hann, I think I'd prefer Mann Hann, while Penang Hill is fairly comparable with Lolo Mao. Still, it was nice to try something new for a change, to broaden our dining horizons.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Then, I got a text message from a former professor and friend about an education-oriented party, which is the Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A TEACHER). According to the party's web site, it aims
"to sponsor and support educational bills, advocate educational reforms, conduct research in aid of educational legislations and policy formulation and provide professional development programs for the enhancement of teachers' teaching competencies. Its legislative agenda will focus on sponsoring and supporting proposed laws that will promote the welfare of teachers in general, improving the quality of education, extending assistance to the poor and deserving students including children of teachers, providing government assistance to small private schools as they continue to work hand in hand with their public education counterparts, and reviewing and proposing necessary amendments to existing educational laws and make them responsive and relevant to the present times."
A TEACHER could not have come at a better time. For the longest time, I'd been bewailing the lack of support our politicians have shown regarding the educational sector. Sure, they'll make the usual noises about how important the education of our youth is, but, sadly, in practice, politicians probably know that to educate the masses effectively would only serve to make the masses more discerning about their leaders. In other words, the masses will discover just how much they've been screwed over.
Hopefully, if A TEACHER makes it, and is able to send even one of their nominees to Congress, these representatives will become a voice around which teachers and those genuinely concerned with education can rally around.
So do consider A TEACHER.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The sixth place PWets (89-87-4) will be facing the twelfth place Ratboo Warriors (81-96-3). With Marcus Camby and Rashard Lewis coming over from the league-leading Dojoboys (which got the Wallace boys, Gerald and Big Ben in return; the Dojoboys are now Team Wallace!) in a last-minute trade, the PWets look strong enough to dispatch the Warriors, and, in doing so, will probably clinch the sixth spot. If the PWets lose, however, and lose big, they'll leave the door wide open for the other contenders.
Team Magis (88-87-5, .5 games behind) will face the fourth place asianbites (95-84-1). On paper, Magis looks to be able to finish strong, but if asianbites does its regular strategy of lineup-juggling, Team Magis could be looking at the end of its championship hopes.
burnik's kuyukots (89-89-2, 1 game behind) is up against the third place Skylark Express (94-83-3). This matchup is fairly even, and could go either way. It'll all depend on how well and how often each team's players will perform this week. Of course, the kuyukots need a big win to try to barge back into the playoffs.
Blues Angles (88-90-2, 2 games behind) will try their luck against the league-leading Dojoboys (112-66-2). With Emeka Okafor still questionable for this week, the Angles, finally healthy after all the injuries, could manage a win against the 'boys. But it'll have to be a big win for the Angles to make it into the playoffs.
linus12 (83-93-4, 6 games behind) will have to win big against The Green Monster (72-104-4) , currently in 13th place, this week, and hope that the other teams, including the Blue Jersey PWets, which currently holds on to the sixth and final slot, all do badly enough. It's a long shot, but, hey, anything's possible.
The second place Rolando's Magic (100-78-2), which might be the only other team aside from the Dojoboys to garner 100 wins, faces off against the fifth place Team JT (92-82-6, 4 games ahead of the PWets). A big win by the Magic, coupled with big wins from either the PWets, the Angles, Team Magis, or the kuyukots, could jeopardize Team JT's standing.
After this week, the playoffs loom. At this point, the Dojoboys and the Magic will sit out the first week of the playoffs, awaiting the winners of the 4-5 and 3-6 matchups. And, after that, the race to the championship will be on.
Monday, March 19, 2007
But which one? With the myriad models available on the market, choosing the right one for me was a bit of a task. At the same time, my phone needs are extremely simple; I really just text and call when necessary. In short, I needed a phone that would serve my basic needs, and, one that would last for a bit of a while before I'd need to replace it.
After consulting my friends about what they'd recommend for me to get, Hazel and I went hunting in SM North Edsa's Cyberzone.
Two models I had been eyeing were the Nokia 6600 and the 3230; in case you're wondering, the 6600 is the oval, ergonomically shaped phone, while the 3230 is rectangular, and has a wide screen. Originally, I had wanted a phone with an MP3 player, but Hazel counseled against it, arguing that it would be a drain on my battery.
In the end, I settled for a dandy Nokia 6070. It had the basic things I needed, plus it had a camera, and a radio as well. With the new phone, I got a spare battery, and a faux leather carrying case. All I need is one of those crystal or rubber protectors, and I'm all set for the next few years with this phone.
Annoying aside: One of the things I loathe when I go to the mall are those ubiquitous, annoying, hard-sell Family First representatives. If there's a group of people for which I have absolutely no sympathy or love, it's these jerks. They hound you and bug you until you just want to grab them by the scruff of their neck and scream into their snotty little faces, "How many times should I pummel it into your thick skulls? I said, 'NO!'" I realize that they have quotas to fill, and they have sales to make, but their hardsell tactics make me see red and go ballistic. As a life form, they're right down there with the scum at the bottom of the pond. And that's being insulting to the pond scum.
As of late, however, they've laid off; apparently, they've been warned to go a little easier. But, yesterday, while we were phone-hunting at the Cyberzone, there was this one little minx who wouldn't let up. She approached my wife while I was inside a shop, and continued to hound us when I came out. Twice. At that point, I turned around, waved my finger at her, and softly roared, "We said, 'NO!'" Hazel pulled at my arm to forestall any further actions. I'm sure if my friend Wynn was accosted in that manner, he'd have started drawing his escrima sticks.
I'm wondering if there's anything that can be done about this. Is there any government agency which handles this sort of problem? Is there any case that can be filed against Family First for their harassment of mallgoers? To the legal eagles out there, do let me know.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
“Tonight, we dine in hell!!!” – King Leonidas
After reading the graphic novel, and seeing the trailer, I was all hyped up to catch the movie version of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s “300”, their rendition of the heroic historical battle between 300 Spartans led by their king, Leonidas and the hordes of Persians, led by the great king Xerxes.
I wasn’t disappointed. It was a wonderfully executed movie, worthy of award consideration.
“300”’s main theme centered around heroism. One just had to admire the guts of the Spartans to stand up and fight against overwhelming odds, to the last man, to the last drop of blood. Leonidas, for one, stood out as one who was willing to die for his convictions. In doing so, he inspired a whole army of Greeks who rose up to oppose the
“300” was also about honor. Leonidas (Ably played by Gerard Butler) showed it, as he fought for freedom and country to defend it against a corrupt conqueror. The smarmy, corrupt politician Theron (brought to life by Dominic West) demonstrated what the lack of it can do, and I’m sure that many of us in the audience wished that we could to our corrupt politicians what Leonidas’ wife Gorgo (beautifully portrayed by Lena Headey) did to Theron in the end. If we could do that, we would be able to erase corruption in our country. Ah, wishful thinking.
There was a muted surreal quality to the whole thing, as it seemed that the director had used some sort of filter to alter the look of the movie. The lack of vibrant colors, except for the red of the Spartans’ cloaks helped set the somber mood for “300”.
The action was breathtaking as it was gory. Everytime a spear or sword found it’s mark, we viewers were sure to see it spurt wildly out of the victim. Whenever one of the warriors would be decapitated, one could see the bone and gore at the separated stumps. But, unlike, for example, Quentin Tarantino movies where the violence is often gratuitous, the sheer gory violence in “300” conveys the brutality of the ancient wars. In other words, it's all in context with the time era.
“300” isn’t for everybody. It’s not for the weak of heart, as the battle scenes will send the squeamish running for the comfort rooms. It’s not for children, either, as there are a number of adult scenes not suitable for young eyes. But, for the discerning filmgoer, “300” is a wonderfully executed movie, with a number of points that we can best reflect on. It's a timely reminder as we approach the election period, that we should choose our leaders not because they bribe us into doing so, but that they inspire us to greater heights.
One of the difficulties I have for this coming May 2007 elections is whether I should force myself to vote for a complete 12-man senatorial slate. Originally, I said I would vote for only three or four, but I’ve reevaluated the candidates, and did some homework, so here’s my current list:
- Joker Arroyo (TU) – One of the few Senators I continue to respect, for his values and his intelligence. Although I’m a bit worried about his age (he’s 80), I think he deserves a second stint in the Senate, and continue the work he’s done.
- Sonia Roco (GO) – The widow of the late Senator Raul Roco impresses me with her focus on education. While a political neophyte, she seems to work hard in the campaign, to make herself more well-known to the voting public. My vote goes to her.
- Jamalul Kiram (TU) – The Sultan of Sulu is a guest candidate of the Partido Democratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP), and the only Muslim in the Senate race. I recently had a talk with one of the founders of the PDSP, former Jesuit Provincial Fr. Romeo Intengan, SJ. He told me that Kiram was apparently integral in wooing away the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from communist influence; he was also responsible for aiding Fr. Intengan’s escape from the Marcos regime. As the Muslims are marginalized as it is, it is important that they be given a voice in the legislative body, and Kiram is it. Admittedly, it’s an uphill battle for Kiram, but I’ll vote for him, as I think that he will help craft laws that will benefit the Filipino Muslims.
Those are the ones I’m more or less sure of. I’m still weighing my options on the following:
- Francis Pangilinan (Ind.) – While the reelectionist senator earned a lot of brownie points for his courage in going at it alone, I’m not sure what he accomplished during his term as Senator. While I admire his show of principle, I need more concrete evidence that he will be an asset to the country in the Senate.
- Ralph Recto (TU) – It was Recto who authored the E-VAT bill, and while that tax has been a bit of a bitter pill to swallow for the Filipino populace, I believe it has helped balance our financial books, and so has helped set the country on the right path to fiscal health. Even though it was unpopular, Recto stuck to his guns and got the bill passed. The con in voting for him is that I think he relies too much on his popular wife, Batangas gubernatorial candidate and actress Vilma Santos in order to gain votes.
- Martin Bautista, Adrian Sison, and Zosimo Paredes (Kapatiran) – the three senatorial candidates of the part Kapatiran have tried to espouse a more ideological style of politics, a plea for politicians to act more honorably. They have no chance of winning, but I think that they have their hearts in the right place. If I’m totally fed up with the administration and the opposition, I may vote for them, if only to protest the lack of values both major camps are exhibiting.
- Vic Magsaysay (TU) – One of the reasons in the Zambales governor’s favor, which I think I mentioned before, is that he hasn’t seemed to be embroiled in any major corruption case, and from the looks of it, Zambales has prospered under his watch. On the popular side, name recall will be strong; having an uncle who was a popular President will be a great help to Governor Magsaysay.
- Edgardo Angara (TU) – I know, I know, he’s a turncoat and all, but, admittedly, from an objective point of view,
Angarais one of the few Senators who has actually done any substantial legislative work. Still, his ideology rings false to me, as he has changed sides too many times. I might simply throw him into my list, if I’m feeling generous, but I’m currently leaning towards excluding him.
So there you have it: my sure(more or less)-vote list, and my considered list. However, it’s still pretty early, as there’s more than a month to go. How I’ll actually vote come May will be determined by what the candidates do, or don’t do in the coming weeks. That, and my continued research into the candidates’ activities and accomplishments.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
My friend Tin sent me this meme, and, me being the inveterate reader that I am, here’s my list:1. One book that changed your life.
Hmmm, I would have to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy is responsible for my love of fantasy and fiction. Same goes for Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine.
2. One book you have read more than once.
There are several books I've read more than once --
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey
Dragonlance trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis
Elric of Melnibone and Corum by Michael Moorcock
and the list goes on...
3. One book you would want on a desert island.
Oog, that's a toughie. There are so many, but I guess I'd have to want Dandelion Wine for the wisdom and the wit.
4. One book that made you laugh.
Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
5. One book that made you cry.
Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie. 'Nuff said.
6. One book you wish had been written.
Something about Philippine historical young adult fiction, in the same vein as the Newbery Award-type books.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
Nick Joaquin's Candido's Apocalypse. We took this up when I was a high school senior, and, coming off Catcher in the Rye, Candido's was just too tedious to read.
8. One book you are currently reading.
George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in his Game of Thrones saga. Wonderful medieval fantasy.
9. One book you have been meaning to read.
Ateneo's University Traditions, and anything by the late Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ.
Tagging Charlie, Lori, Katz, Elbert and Cai
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Even though I spent my weekend in Boracay, I was still abreast of some of the interesting stories in the news.
According to the ANC newstape, the American Nurses’ Association has joined the nursing commission’s call for the June 2006 nursing board passers to retake the leaked tests. I wonder why the government seems so bull-headed in pushing for a no-retake situation, rather than reclaiming the integrity of the test, and, at the same time, going after the ones who leaked the exam questions, and caused the mess in the first place. Instead, congressmen and the Philippine Regulatory Commission head have been sent to the
* * *
While I can’t say that I like Genuine Opposition (GO) senatorial candidate Alan Peter Cayetano, there’s something fishy about the namesake candidate who’s also running. First of all, Joselito Pepito Cayetano listed “Peter” as his given nickname, although according to his family and close friends, his actual nickname is “Jojo.” Secondly, this Cayetano has apparently lied about his credentials; he claims to be an engineer, although there is no record of his being one. Lastly, “Peter” Cayetano claims to be running under the Marcos-era Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), although KBL president, Ilocos Norte governor Bongbong Marcos, has denied endorsing this Cayetano for the senatorial slate.
At the center of the storm is another perennial KBL senatorial candidate, lawyer Oliver Lozano, who seems to think that he’s speaking for the KBL. Lozano said that Cayetano had the blessing of Marcos, a claim Marcos denies. Now, he’s saying that the recent visit of the GO Cayetano to the KBL Cayetano’s hometown has shamed and humiliated “Peter” Cayetano’s family and friends. This, despite the fact that apparently, “Peter”’s friends and family were surprised that he had decided to run for the Senate.
It seems clear to me that the “Peter” Cayetano is a nuisance candidate and should be disqualified from running. At least, for this particular case, Alan Peter Cayetano has the goods on his rival, and it seems that there is a strong case to be made.
* * *
Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and Lipa mayor and movie star Vilma Santos have apparently made up their minds: they will run for the respective positions they have been rumored to be eyeing. Pacquiao will challenge reelectionist Darlene Antonino-Custodio for the 1st district congressional seat of South Cotabato, and
I do hope that Pacquiao knows what he’s doing, although I still suspect that there are puppet strings attached to his candidacy. I don’t think that he will have the wherewithal to craft proper laws, although his rival Antonino-Custodio has been busying herself with the opposition cause to the detriment of her constituents. Maybe he’ll be able to contribute some worthwhile bills on the advancement of sports, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
* * *
Trust Filipinos to take the initials of the two coalitions and make some pointed pun about them. A facsimile of a text message going round goes, “Who are you going to vote for, the TUTAs (Team Unity, Team Arroyo) or the GAGO (Grand Alliance, Genuine Opposition)?” It pretty much sums up the general sentiment regarding the senatorial race: it’s a choice of the lesser evil. Do we vote for the lapdogs of the administration, or do we vote for the opposition whose only goal seems to be the ouster of the President, without proposing any alternative plan or platform? No wonder people want the Senate abolished; it has fallen far and fast from its original lofty and respected position.
At the moment, I’m only about to vote for about three, maybe four, senatorial candidates. I’ll detail them in a future post.
Back from Boracay, I’m now a little past lobster-red, and growing well into the charbroiled dark skin I got when I went on immersion in college.
The last time I was at Boracay, it was about twenty years ago, in the mid to late eighties, when the island was still truly an unsullied paradise. Granted, amenities such as electricity didn’t exist at the time, but it was still a lovely experience, living so in tune with nature.
As luck would have it, Hazel’s officemate’s relatives own one of the posh resorts on the island, and we, along with Hazel’s other officemates, were invited to stay over the weekend. And so, I got to go back and see what the island resort was like now.
As it turns out, while the stay was a lot of fun, it was a bit dismaying to see how overdeveloped the island was getting. The entire seashore probably had owners, who’d put up their resorts in order to draw in the various tourists from all over the world. And, during our motorboat tour of the island, one could see that developers were busy at work, transforming another part of the island into yet another resort.
Granted, there was still a lot to see: white, almost powder-soft beach sand, clear, blue waters, …and good food!
Over the weekend, we tried to sample as much of the cuisine Boracay had to offer, although since our host provided quite a number of our meals (all of which were exemplary), there were some that we just missed out on; for one, we weren’t able to sample the local choriburger (maybe next time), nor were we able to have fruit shakes at Jonah’s. We made do anyway.
Our first night in Boracay, Hazel and I decided to bring Gabby to Cocomanga, a bar and grill. We ordered chicken with cashew nuts (I’ve developed a taste for this type of dish), breaded oysters (crunchy and spicy, although, I think I might have preferred just the steamed fresh ones), and adobo rice, topped off with fruit shakes served in jam jars (weird, but I guess it’s their way of creating some uniqueness to their resto). For Gabby, we ordered their marguerita pizza, which was topped with mozzarella and tomatoes. Not too bad, if a little on the pricey side.
Saturday found us visiting D’Mall, the central shopping plaza on the island. After our shopping we decided to get lunch at Mang Inasal (comparable to Chicken Bacolod in
Dinner was served at the place where we were staying, and it was lobster cooked in coconut milk, and chicken stewed with carrots and beans. Yum!
Sunday, the group decided to meet for dinner at Gastof, which boasted of their baby back ribs, and, man, it wasn’t an idle boast. Gastof’s ribs were succulent, juicy and flavorful, topped off with a wonderful barbeque sauce; Hazel and I weren’t able to finish them all, and wound up bringing quite a bit back to the beach house.
Yesterday, we packed up and left the island; Hazel and Gabby would go on to Roxas and Iloilo to visit relatives, while I had to return to Manila, since it’s exam week, and I’d be busy finishing my grades. From Caticlan, we rode to Kalibo, Aklan, where I would board my plane. On the way, Hazel’s family van suffered a flat tire, and Hazel and I had to hitch on one of the L300 services plying the route between Caticlan and Kalibo. It apparently wasn’t necessary; my flight was delayed, so we needn’t have hurried.
We decided to have a late lunch while waiting for our van to catch up, and we decided on Alexa’s, an eatery just across the Kalibo airport. We ordered pasta Siciliana (tomato and eggplant, one of the few things I cannot stand, but Hazel loves the stuff, and Gabby did, too), pancit molo (different from the regular dumpling-style stuffed wontons, the soup, which was salty spicy, had the wonton noodles separate from the meat filling), their supreme pizza (one of the few misses, as I found it to be a little weak on flavor), and pancit lomi for Hazel’s mom and aunt (Didn’t taste this, so I’m not sure about it).
Finally, my flight arrived, and I went into the terminal with a heavy heart. I enjoyed the trip, and I enjoyed the food that accompanied it. I wouldn’t mind another trip to Boracay; despite the crowdedness of the island, it’s still refreshing to sit on the sand, and watch the waves lap at your feet, and enjoy the cool breeze in one’s face. Not to mention a chance to try out some of the other restaurants on the island.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
For this week, two matchups look to make the playoff picture either clearer, or more muddled. This week, Rolando’s Magic battles the Skylark Express; if the Magic beats the Express, it might be enough for the kuyukots to barge in. At the same time, the PWets face the Angles; if the PWets win, it’ll probably sink any chance the Angles have of making it in, and if the Angles win, they’ll bring themselves closer to that coveted playoff spot.
The injuries continue to pile up. While players like Yao Ming, Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, Jason Richardson and Baron Davis have made their return to their respective lineups, others have taken their place:
Dwayne Wade – Wade dislocated his left shoulder in a tangle with Houston’s Shane Battier. While it looks like he’s done for the season, instead of opting for surgery, Wade has decided to try rehab, and see if he can come back in five weeks. In our league’s case, that’ll be the middle of playoffs.
Shaun Livingston – Livingston tore three tendons in his left knee, continuing a history of injuries that have kept him from maximizing his potential. If the Clippers are lucky (and when have they ever been lucky?), he’ll be back in the middle of next season, if at all.
Jamal Crawford - Crawford has a stress fracture in his right ankle, and is out for the season.
Wally Szcerbiak – Szcerbiak has opted to have surgery on his ankle, and is done for the season. It’s been a frustrating season for the Boston wingman, and maybe ending it at this point is more merciful for him.
Emeka Okafor – Okafor strained his left calf, which means he’ll sit out this week, and rehab it.
Andres Nocioni - Nocioni reaggravated his right plantar fasciitis, and is out indefinitely.
J.R. Smith - Smith tore cartilage in his knee, and is supposed to come back in a week or two.
Earl Boykins - Boykins tore ligaments in his thumb, and will miss around another week. It doesn't really matter at the moment, though; with Redd and Mo Williams back, Boykins would be relegated to a backup role, anyway.
Jason Kapono - Kapono sprained his ankle yesterday, and will be out for at least ten days.
Rasheed Wallace - 'sheed strained his left foot, and has been out for almost a week now.
Grant Hill - Hill has suffered injuries to his left foot as well, although I read somewhere that it's unrelated to the ankle surgery that has had a great impact on his career. It's too bad, considering that Hill is one of the nice guys of the league, and, before the injury, was looked upon as the next Michael Jordan.
Sam Cassell - Cassell suffered a groin strain, and hasn't played the last two or three games. With Livingston out for the season, Cassell will be badly missed by a struggling Clippers squad.
Friday, March 02, 2007
That’s interesting. The last time I checked, a man is innocent until proven guilty. The candidates facing these charges haven’t been convicted, and yet, the Ombudsman is calling on voters to consider them as such. Isn’t that electioneering?
I’m not saying that these people are innocent; I think the evidence exists that will prove them guilty. But win the cases first, and then disqualify them from office. It is premature to make pronouncements that prejudge the candidates and rob them of a fair chance of getting elected.
It’s interesting that no such call was given when convicted former Representative Romeo Jalosjos ran despite the fact that he was facing rape charges, which, I think, is a little more heinous than graft.
And yet the Ombudsman absolved from any criminal liability the various Comelec officials who entered into a faulty contract the Supreme Court ruled as null and void, with an additional admonition to the Ombudsman to investigate who should be charged.
I’m wondering what sort of game the Ombudsman is playing.
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Genuine Opposition (GO) spokesperson Adel Tamano might be premature in claiming victory in the wake of a recent survey of Pulse Asia placing about seven of the GO senatorial candidates in the so-called Magic 12. Consider that the survey only covers Metro Manila, and it might be a stretch of the imagination to base victory on a mere survey. But Tamano’s pronouncement is indicative of the overconfidence that the opposition has; so sure are they that the people are so ticked off with the administration that they’ll willingly give an overwhelming vote to the opposition. Never mind the fact that the opposition has yet to present a viable alternative program to that of the administration’s. Never mind the fact that the opposition includes fanatics like Rez Cortez, who is more than willing to continue the politics of hatred by composing hateful jingles attacking the supposed turncoatism of certain candidates in the administration's Team Unity.
As long as the opposition is so sold on the idea of ousting the President, as long as they continue the politics of hatred, the voters will become disenchanted with their shrill voices soon enough. No doubt that they can ride the rhetoric to victory; I’m pretty certain that a good number of the opposition will make it to the Senate. What will be interesting to see is what they will do once they make it in: will they work for the good of the country, or will they continue their ruinous path?
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Reelectionist Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan may have redeemed himself in the eyes of some voters by making the decision to go it alone without the help of the Genuine Opposition. He has a point when he says that it would be difficult to run with the parties that worked with ousted President Joseph Estrada, considering that Pangilinan worked for the impeachment of Estrada. Likewise, it would be difficult for him to run with the administration, considering that he has joined those who are calling for the President’s resignation.
Anyway, from a cynical point, he doesn’t really need either the opposition or the administration. His megastar wife, Sharon Cuneta, will probably draw in enough support, which, for Pangilinan’s sake, will translate into votes, and send him back to the Senate.