With the year rapidly coming to an end, I find myself at a loss trying to focus on what to write about. The past few days have been too hectic to allow me some quiet time to gather my thoughts and sit down to write.
That was unfortunate, as there have been a number of issues that I would’ve written about without a second thought, including President Noynoy’s impolitic comments on the Supreme Court, some further thoughts about the Supreme Court’s decision to free Hubert Webb and his companions, and a possible commentary about how media determines what issues should be focused on. Of these, I’m probably still going to be able to write about them, if I have the time, since they are still current issues.
At any rate, since this is likely to be my last post for the year 2010, I’d like to focus on the year that is ending. It’s been an active year, considering that we Filipinos saw the ushering-in of a new President via a new (and still contested) form of elections, and observed how he dealt with the various crises that beset him from the very start of his term.
Some of the big issues (good and bad) of the Aquino administration (Note: my apologies in advance if my list is incomplete. I don’t have internet at home, and I have to rely on my archives and memory to do my recall. Of course, you readers are free to fill in the gaps.):
1. “No wang-wangs” – I think this is one of the small things that helped endear President Aquino to the public. Removing this perk that has annoyed many a motorist, President Aquino helped to enforce the impression that public officials are servants of the people, and not their overlords. Of course, in the big picture, the specter of corruption still needs to be combated, but it’s little things like this that mean much.
2. The Chinese hostage crisis – The bungling of this situation by the Aquino administration still continues to haunt the President, since he has decided to disregard the findings of his investigative committee, and pretty much absolve all of the big names whom the committee considered as liable, especially Undersecretary Rico Puno, who was supposedly in charge of the police, whose bungling was seen on live television for the whole world to see. The situation ended in tragedy, resulting in the death of Chinese nationals, and gave the Aquino administration a huge black-eye from which it still has to recover.
3. Conflict with the judiciary – Starting with President Aquino’s snub of Chief Justice Renato Corona, and continuing with the President’s comments that dealing with the judiciary being one of his greatest challenges, the administration’s hate affair with the judiciary branch is probably only a few steps away from a constitutional crisis. The administration’s perception that the judiciary is biased against it is based on a number of decisions made by the Supreme Court, notably the decision declaring President Aquino’s Truth Commission as unconstitutional. It’s still an issue that needs observation, as there are more tussles ahead between the executive and the judiciary.
4. Amnesty to Trillanes and his cohorts – While Senator Antonio Trillanes has been freed, the issue of granting amnesty is still being discussed in Congress (I think. Any updates out there, anyone?). For myself, I didn’t, and don’t agree with it, since what Trillanes and his merry men did, taking over Oakwood Towers in a failed mutiny against then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and subsequently walking out of court and taking over the Manila Peninsula, requires closure via court decision, else others may take the opportunity to do the same thing in the future.
5. Budget passed – For the first time in 11 years, the national budget has been signed into law the year before it is to be enacted. For the first time in 11 years, the country will not be working on a re-enacted budget replete with expired items that can be exploited by a corrupt administration. Hopefully, the new budget will allow the Aquino administration to move forward with its agenda of fighting corruption and uplifting the poor.
Movies I watched over the year 2010 (rated from 1-5, 5 being the highest rating):
1. Iron Man 2 – 4
2. How to Train Your Dragon – 5
3. Shrek Forever After – 4
4. Toy Story 3 – 5
5. The Last Airbender – 1
6. Guardians of Ga’Hoole – 4
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – 4
8. Tron Legacy -3
Admittedly, I went to the movies on escapist mode; given the prices of movies these days, I’d rather watch dramas and other heavy stuff at home.
New books I read (same rating as above):
1. The Percy Jackson series (5 books, Rick Riordan) – 4
2. The Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins) – 3
3. The Chaos Waiting trilogy (Patrick Ness) – 5
4. The Dresden Files series (12 books, Jim Butcher) – 4
5. Leviathan – 4
6. Red Pyramid (Rick Riordan) – 5
7. The Lost Hero (Rick Riordan) – 4
8. Unseen Academicals (Terry Prachett) – 3
9. I Shall Wear Midnight (Terry Prachett) – 5
This, of course, doesn’t include all of the books I wound up re-reading over the year, including the Lord of the Rings, various books of Prachett’s Discworld, and Raymond Feist’s Riftwar saga.
Next year, 2011, I’m hoping to gain more control of my time and be able to write on a more consistent basis. That’s one of my resolutions for the coming year.
To all my readers, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Cheers!