Archive | February 2010

The Truth About the C5 Project

I honor M’ Monsod for clearly explaining what happened with the C-5 extension project.  She continues to serve her country well by unraveling the twists and tangles created by political spin doctors.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 contrversey 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 halalan.com/ 2010/01/26/ joker-arroyo- raises-issue- of-accountabilit y-of-public- officers- against-manny- villar/

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.

Ladies and Gents,

WINNIE MONSOD CLARIFIES THE ISSUE.  PLEASE WATCH.

if you have a fast connection watch this. so much more impact when she tells it to you with graphics.

http://do-not/-vote-campaign.ning.com/ video/video/ show?id=4934771:Video:102

RIC S. PASCUA, SR.

AVVISO DI
 PROTEZIONE

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Thinking about moving out…again

A year ago, I was in the middle of crossroads: to go to the industry or to stay in the academe. It was a hard decision for me. I was scared. I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I have been so used to this laid-back life in MSU GenSan. And people around me were saying that it wouldn’t be a wise move to leave the state university (stable) for NEC, especially in the peak of the financial crisis.

I was scared. Not only for myself but also for my family. If I failed and get kicked out of my next job, then how in the world could I support my siblings’ education? It would be very, very hard.

I was scared. I was scared to start again. New office. New people. New environment. I thought, “What if I don’t get along well with my new officemates?”, “What if I don’t meet their expectations?”, “What if I realize that I could be happier in MSU?”, “What if things didn’t turn out right?” What if this, what if that. Too scared, too many whatifs.

And now, after a year, what has become of me? Has anything changed?

Well, I was able to go to Japan for my PhilNITS/AOTS-sponsored training. And there, I realized, that I didn’t have to be ashamed of my job. That it was cool to be a college teacher. Certainly, teaching in the university doesn’t involve dining in fancy restaurants with business partners or prospect clients, or traveling to different parts of the world, or driving flashy cars, or wearing the latest fashion trends. Certainly not. But teaching gives a different sense of fulfillment.

Yes, I realized, I LIKED teaching. It’s a fun and cool job to make a difference in young people’s lives. It’s fulfilling to see those curious, expectant eyes flash with excitement for a new thing learned or discovered. It’s satisfying to see former students grow and excel in their careers.

But, the problem is I want to be excellent in what I do. And currently, I don’t see myself doing that. Yes, I know I shouldn’t blame the computers, the facilities, the students, the administration, the government, nor the system. But I believe I am giving a mediocre performance because I don’t have enough facilities and the proper working environment. The system is not helping me either. I need an employer who knows me, who knows my needs and who’ll support me in achieving our common goals.

I am seeking for that kind of employer. I know I have the potential to be able to help any company or organization achieve its goals. And I hope that the next university I will be joining can be just that. I want to work with excellent people so that I can learn from them, and be excellent myself.

I am the type of person who needs to be recognized for a job well done – not really as big as a promotion – just a simple recognition to make me feel important could do. Oops, but I’d also like to be promoted. It would certainly be fantastic, if, after six years in my career, I could at last, taste a promotion. What I don’t understand in our system is that we don’t even get step increments, like, for example, from Instructor 2, I would be like Instructor 3 after 3 years of very satisfactory performance. The hundreds difference on my payslip could make a lot of difference in boosting up my morale. But no, it doesn’t work that way. People need to wait for at least 10 years to get a promotion. And luckily, if you do get promoted, you’d have a big difference in your salary. Like, for example, from Instructor 2, I could become Assistant Prof IV! See? It’s a big, big jump.

I don’t know if we share the same opinion. But this is no longer working for me. I need to try other opportunities.

Goodbye, finally…

I don’t understand myself. I have attempted to let go of him for so many times already but every time he comes back, I welcome him…with wide, open arms.

I know that he doesn’t deserve it and I should just quit. I know that I have control over the situation. I can choose how to handle this and react when he tries to communicate with me. But each time, I let my defenses down and just give him my heart. But I know, this time, I have to be firm and accept that he’s just not that into me and I can’t allow myself to be trapped in that sad situation. Haay, sad.. but I have to do this for myself. Ayoko na.

Hope this is the first step towards emotional freedom. Yey! I can do this!!! Goodbye, finally.

A New Challenge

Last Wednesday, I went downtown because I was convinced by Maam Nimfa to attend the culmination night of Stratford. I didn’t want to go but I didn’t want to go home to BQ either. So left without a choice, I went downtown anyway.

When I stepped outside the jeepney, I met Ramjie, Hannah and Ate Pat. Ramjie then told me about a project development he’s currently involved with and invited me to join their team. As usual, I got excited about the idea and thought that this would be a great opportunity for me to finally be involved in creating a real project.

To cut the story short, I’m now included in the team and will be meeting the team leader, Jervy later this afternoon. I have started reading the tutorial on Python and I’m quite impressed by the language. It looks like RoR, C, and Shell Scripting combined together. I wanna do this but I’m just afraid that I might not be able to do everything – I have a lot of things on my hands already!

But I just have to do this. I just need the right attitude and proper time management. I can do this! 🙂

Gardening: First Day

Due to the early power interruption today (5pm instead of the usual 6:30pm), I was able to dismiss my class early and started our mini-garden at BQ. 🙂 Ems and I were able to prepare the soil for planting tomorrow. Yippee! Milestone 1 achieved!

We’re planning to plant some veggies like alugbati, pechay, and tomatoes. Exciting!!! 😀

Whew! I super love Ubuntu!

I almost fainted yesterday, when I booted my laptop and Windows immediately ran.. I was expecting a boot menu to appear onscreen because I had both Ubuntu and Windows XP on my machine. Panic started creeping in when I checked the directories of my computer and all I could see was my Windows directory.

Whew! I really hated myself for not following my instinct to create a backup first before re-installing my Windows XP. I was uber confident that I won’t do any harm to my Ubuntu partition because I will be reinstalling only on my Windows partition. I could have copied everything – my pictures taken from Manila, Ozamis, Japan, Davao, Mangagoy and GenSan, my exams (and answer keys), handouts, grades… to my external hard disk with just a click but was too lazy and confident (and stubborn) to do that.

Well, I really felt so stupid and it just hit me that I could have lost all the important files from November ’09 to January ’10. I felt like all my blood came out of my body…I was getting dizzy… racking my brains for any solution. I checked my computer again and could only see 20 GB of my hard disk, meaning, there is a possibility that Windows just didn’t recognize my Ubuntu partition…hmmm.. there was hope!!!! 🙂

I rebooted again and again, but still, the boot menu wouldn’t show up. Windows kept on booting itself automatically! Grrr.. Ubuntu didn’t do that when I installed it alongside Windows..It just created a boot menu where I could choose which OS to use.  I knew there was a workaround to the problem but I didn’t want to take all the time to research the Web. It was my first time to encounter the problem and I couldn’t wait ’til Monday to ask all my geek friends at the office how to solve it. I was afraid my insomnia would be back because of a reckless mistake!

So I took my Ubuntu installer and started to “reinstall”, crossing my fingers and praying very hard that it would detect that I already have a previously installed version of Ubuntu…and…

Voila! Yey!!! It did detect that I already have Ubuntu! Haha! So I cancelled the installation and ran Ubuntu from the CD. Through Ubuntu, I was able to see all the files I had on my hard disk – both my Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows XP files. Whew! I immediately copied all my files on my EHD. At least I learned a lot from that experience!

Ubuntu is a real life saver. Thanks!!! I don’t know if I just missed it, but I really wasn’t able to read that Windows detected that I had another OS on my machine. Well, whatever, Ubuntu has earned one vote! 🙂

Just a friendly reminder…BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP! before you do anything stupid or critical to your PC.

Late Review for Week 4 of Jan 2010

Fernando Jose, Thalla and Fedra at Aling Fopeng's 🙂

Gosh. This is just the 3rd time that I’ve rewritten this post. I was disconnected because of the blackout and when I pressed the  Publish button, I got an error message. And when I pressed the back button, I got a blank post. Grr!

Anyway, I was happy last week because I had a blast. It was a wonderful week, was able to cross out a number of things on my to-do list.

  • had a fun time during the Echo Seminar. I was able to pull off a good-enough presentation about my ITSS training. They were more interested to hear about my experiences during my travel and stay in Japan than the contents of my training. Well, that’s quite understandable because they weren’t really into IT. But I also learned a lot of things from the speakers. I’m a regular at Echo Seminars already – not once have I been a plain spectator. Well, I love attending trainings and seminars! =)
  • opened up my passbook account
  • had a ‘business meeting” with Laiza and Ems at KFC
  • had our first REAL household at Ate Rev’s bhaus
  • super happy chika and laughing moments with Pierre and Chami at Yellow Cab and Aling Fopeng’s
  • had super bonding with brothers Jong and Gringo, and Charie

Tasks from last week:

  • polish app and resume
  • compute partial grades
  • gym tym!

This Week:

  • plan, prepare, and practice demo on “Installation of OS: Windows XP and Ubuntu”
  • prepare for household at BQ