Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas is for children

At Christmas, the whole Christian world celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christmas therefore, is for children, both the young and the old.
But for the large part, for the young.
That is why Christmas too, is commemorated by gift giving.
It is the children that appreciate more, the gift giving and receiving.
It is an exciting tradition.
It is one that brings smiles to the children.
We, too, experienced this excitement during our younger days.
The sense of excitement is passed on to the following generation.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Ateneo diploma

I was pleaseantly surprised when my mother told me that my diploma from Aten>eo de Manila College of Law has been "lying" here in Dumaguete.
I thought all along, that this diploma had been lost already.
Though just paper, diplomas often mean the world to the person that holds them. Whether they are from Harvard or a community college, they are far more than just a regular piece of paper.
In fact, those have earned a criminal justice degree may be inclined to set up an investigation if one went missing. Upon not being able to find it, they may do something along the lines of incorporating other agencies to help with the hunt. I, on the other hand, left getting my degree back up to chance.
I haven't been good in keeping diplomas.
Once, I thought I lost my lawyer's certification issued by the Supreme Court.
Then I found out later, it had been languishing in the high court for years as I forgot to claim it.
Anyway, I told my mother to just keep the law school diploma, lest it be misplaced.
The diploma has been framed (thanks to mother) but covered with plastic and hidden beside a working table.
So like my college diploma, I took a picture and just "store" it here in my blog.
It is written in some alien language---Latin probably--- so the only things I can understand are my name and the degree earned: "Juris Doctor".

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cebu judges cry foul

Happy New Year!
Despite the looming global crisis, I pray for a blessed year ahead for all of us.
Let us live each day, as it comes, the best way we can.
Let me quote an old saying, echoed in my son Joshua’s favorite animated movie Kung Fu Panda:
“Yesterday was history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift---that is why it’s called “present.”
A raging issue in neighboring Cebu is what many judges in Cebu think is a continuing move to threaten the independence of the judiciary there, by local government executives.
The story is that judges have noticed that the local government, particularly the provincial government, would “cut-off” allowances to judges who issue rulings unfavorable to the local governments.
Cebu judges have met and will issue a formal statement condemning this attempt to “bully” the local judiciary.
Some judges have waived any allowance given to judges by local governments.
Here is that headline story published in the December 20, 2008 issue of the Cebu daily News.

Cebu Daily News (Saturday, 20 December 2008)
by Ador Vincent Mayol

Judges in Cebu are moving to assert their judicial independence.
Judge Gabriel Ingles of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 58 is drafting a resolution condemning threats made by local government units to withhold allowances of judges who make decisions unfavorable to local officials.
“The cutting off of judges’ allowances should not threaten us. We will not be bullied by anybody. We will not succumb to the pressures,” said Ingles, who was designated spokesman of the Palace of Justice last month.
He said the one-page statement will be circulated among judges in Cebu city and province and then will be sent to the Cebu provincial government and the Supreme Court.
The statement stemmed from the reported threat made by Capitol security consultant Byron Garcia to cut off the allowance of Danao CityJudge Edito Enemecio of RTC Branch 25 for ordering the transfer of three prisoners to Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
Garcia, in a phone interview, said that while it was the right of the judges to issue such a statement, he said he was misquoted in a news item published in a local daily.
“ Wa ko niingon putli ug allowance. Namisquote ra ko. Ang statement nako makasave ang province kun dili siya modawat ug allowance (I didn’t say his allowance should be cut off. I was misquoted. My statement was that the province can save money if he would not receive an allowance),” he said.
Ingles said the draft statement mentions that the claim of Garcia that he was misquoted “seemed to be doubtful” because there was already a precedent.
He was referring to the case of RTC Judge Bienvenido Saniel whose name was deleted in the roster of judges who are receiving monthly allowances from the province.
When Saniel learned about the removal of his name last October, he wrote to Gov. Gwen Garcia, asking her not to restore his name in the list.
Saniel was the judge who dismissed the petition filed by the province questioning the authority of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osme┼ła to appoint directors of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District.
RTC judges in Cebu receive P6,000 a month from the province. The amount has varied over the years, but the grant of an allowance has been a practice of several administration and is allowed by the Supreme Court.
In the October incident, Ingles and RTC Judge Meinrado Paredes immediately waived their allowances from the province to sympathize with Saniel and to uphold the principle of judicial independence.
The threat to remove the allowance of judges who make unfavorable decisions was discussed informally among judges during a conference in Argao town this week, said Ingles.
They agreed that it was about time the judges issued a statement on the issue.
Ingles said he was drafting a statement as requested by Paredes, who is now RTC executive judge, to be circulated among the judges for their signature on Monday.
Judicial independence is so important that it is considered the “soul of the judiciary.” said Ingles.
“Even if there are threats to cut off the allowance or physical harm, judicial independence should be upheld whatever the cost.”
Ingles said the main purpose of the group statement was to let all local government units know that judges would never be threatened or intimidated by threats made by the government officials.
Ingles said that any judge, either in the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court or the RTC, can sign the statement.
He (Executive Judge Paredes) said the judiciary should not be bullied by anyone because it is the “last bulwark of democracy.”
Paredes said each branch government – judiciary, executive and legislative – has its own functions.
The legislative branch is tasked to make laws while the executive branch implements these, he said.
The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law and to resolve conflicts."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Believing in Santa Claus

There was a time when I thought Santa Claus was real.
When I was around five years old, my father and mother took off at around seven p.m. from the house.
I asked them where they were headed, and they sad they were fetching Santa Claus at the airport.
I sincerely believed them.
I was not able to analyze that there were no flights at seven in the evening.
Nor did i think that Santa Claus did not have to land in teh airport to deliver his gifts to us, children.
But when we were kids, we wanted to belive in Santa Claus.
He represented a big part of the mystery and excitement of Christmas.
This tradition has continued to excite the next generation.
Now, my son and cousins MJ, Pia and Nat Nat look forward to the gifts and goodies brought by Santa Claus.
Today, Christmas day, they woke up with their red stockings filled with different kinds of goodies from Santa Claus.
It was a nice thing to see the mystery and excitement continued like an unending Christmas tradition.
I thought it wasn't that long ago where I, too, looked forward to inspecting the candies and chocolates that stuffed the red stockings hanged the night before.
I hope the story of Santa Claus will continue for generations to come.
He brings smiles to kids on Chirstmas day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sans Rival Spaghetti

One of the oldest snack bars in Dumaguete City is San Rival along San Jose Street near the Rizal boulevard.
This is primarily a pastry shop, serving tasty cookies and cakes concocted by the sagarbarria grand matriarch, the woman shoe childrena nd grandchildren call "Abu".
She has passed on the trade secrets to the children who have enlarged Sans Rival from a six-table snack shop into a fully operating restaurant.
Sans Rival is already a permanent fixture to our city's show-window of home-made delicacies.
One afternoon, we dropped by Sans Rival to savor again their own brand of spaghetti.
I accompanied my order with tuna smacked in wheat sandwich.
My wife also ordered her spaghetti plus a choco roll.
For take-out we ordered a box of mango bars (P183 per box), and jam squares (P138 per box).

Jams squares is also good for pasalubong.
It is a square-formed biscuit that has a bit of dried mango in the middle.
There are many other delicacies at Sans Rival.
The main item of course is its namesake, San Rival.
There is also the original "chewey-crunchy" silvanas.
If you are a visitor in Dumaguete City, you can't afford to miss Sans Rival.
Sans Rival is truly among Dumaguete's unique treasures.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Threatening judicial independence

December 23, 2008

Hon. Gabriel T. Ingles
Branch 58 Presiding Judge
Regional Trial Court
Cebu City

Dear Judge Gabriel Ingles,

Maayong Pasko.

I write after reading the headline of Cebu Daily News (December 20, 2008) regarding a statement that Cebu judges are drafting a statement "condemning threats made by local government units to withold allowances of judges who make decisions unfavorable to local officials."
Judge, if it is possible I would like to have a copy of this statement for circulation/publication in our local newspapers.
Maybe you can email a scanned copy, if it is not too much to ask.
I anticipate this to be a bold statement for judicial independence.
I think, based on my experience in handling cases involving local government units and officials, it is very important to maintain the independence of the judiciary.
I also think it is time that any form of allowance to judges by local government units should be discontinued.
I commend and appreciate that concientious judges like you, have waived allowances from local governments, as the news reported.
This should be followed by all judges, not only in Cebu, but in the entire country.
It appears that sometimes, there are some local officials who arrogantly evoke a posture of judicial invincibility everytime they are hurled in court, or everytime they harrass a citizen to court.
Some people cannot avoid but somehow think---rightly or wrongly---that this misplaced arrogrance by some local officials has a connection with the public funds that are chanelled to the local courts and to judges (and even city prosecutors) themselves, as reflected in the local government budget.
Of course, no one is accusing that judges or prosecutors can be influenced by reason, or in consideration of the allowances that local government units provide for the local courts.
But sometimes, one cannot help but be suspicious.
Since judges are supposed to be beyond reproach, above suspicion, I think it is better for the admnistration of justice that once and for all, any form of allowance should no longer be allowed.
Perhaps judges can, as a start, voluntarily waive the allowances like what you have done.
We will campaign in the Supreme Court to disallow this practice altogether.
Anyway, the salaries and allowances of judges have already been increased.
Our concern is that if this ugly pratice is not stopped, inevitably, somewhere down the road, some local officials might think---albeit erroneously---that the regular allowances to judges have some strings attached.
In any event, whatever benefits are derived by the granting of allowances to judges (or prosecutors) by local governments, are far outweighed by the higher interests of maintaining the independence of the judiciary.

Daghang salamat, judge.
Merry Christmas to you and your famiy.

Very truly yours,
Jay Dejaresco

Jo's chicken Inato

Perhaps, Dumaguete's most immediately recognizable dining place for your favorite chicken barbique is Jo's Chicken Inato.
Jo's Chicken, located along Silliman Avenue, right at the back of Dumaguete's version of the "White House" (official residence of the Silliman University president), still emits that alluring aroma around town.
When my parents relocated to Dumaguete City from Tagbilaran almost forty years ago, we settled in a two bedroom apartment at the Flores compound along Silliman Avenue.
The rent during that wonderful, and memory-filled time was P250 per month.
We resided there for around seven years.
As I was growing up in that once pollution-free neighborhood, I happened to witness the beginnings of what is now that multi-million peso business of Jo's Chicken Inato, beside that apartnment we lived along Silliman Avenue.
From a very simple chicken barbique stand, then personally run by Jo Ng and husband Jesse (he has passed on), Jo's chicken Inato has metamorphosed into a multi-branch barbique business.
Having that rare privilege of witnessing how the industrious Ng couple built their "chicken-inato empire" through sheer hard work, I am not suprised at the breadth of its expansion.
It was---as I saw it---literally a labor of love, as the couple diligently, tirelessly fanned the flames of a fruitful and flourishing enterprise.
It has carved its own identity in the community that has made the place distinctly Dumaguete.
Jo's Chicken Inato's latest, if not biggest outlet is now located along that cozy shoreline in San Jose town.
I missed Jo's Chicken, so in one of our simple gatherings with visiting, former Dumageuteno-friends, I insisted we have lunch at Jo's.
It's always nostalia when you return to something pleasurable, after a long absence.
The chicken barbique tasted the way it was.
We enjoyed eating good old chicken inato, while recounting the days of our childhood.
It was more peaceful, a lot simpler, then.
Stress was a stranger.
But time moves fast and steady like the ticking clock.
Stress is a stranger no longer, but a dreaded companion.
We always want to go back to simpler times.
But now we are only left to savor the food, while we cherish the memories.
We enjoyed while it lasted...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Journey Arnel Pineda Faithfully with Zoo

Here is a video that my son Joshua took of Journey's Filipino lead singer Arnel Pineda belting out "Faithfully" with his former band, The Zoo. This was in May 2008 at Hard Rock Cafe at Glorietta Makati City.

Movies that inspire

One of the things I do, in order to have a “fresh start” next year is to watch old, inspiring movies.
since there are many holidays during Christmas, I squeeze my time to review those old movies that inspire.
Anyway, it would take just two hours per movie.
There are two old movies I plan to watch, which I would like to share.
One is a true story, “All The President’s Men,” a highly acclaimed movie in the 1970’s.
In fact it would have garnered the Best picture in the 1976 annual Academy awards, were it not for the tight competition in that year. It was knocked out by the film “Rocky”.
Other heavy contenders for Best Picture in that year were “Taxi Driver” and “Network.”
“All The President’s Men” was starred and produced by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
This move inspires me because it is a movie about the pursuit of truth.
Jesus has said “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
As a journalist, it is a mountain of a challenge to pursue the truth, which for the most part, is always elusive.
Many times. the truth is much like fair maiden with a conservative upbringing.
When you pursue it, it always play “hard-to-get.”
As a Christian journalist, pursuing the truth in our writings, is a way to obey the Lord Jesus’ promise that it is always the truth that will set us free.
All The President’s Men” is a ‘re-enactment’ of the fateful events of the Watergate scandal that eventually toppled the Nixon administration.
This is a movie that recounts the events from the perspective of the two young idealist reporters of the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
These two reporters were the spark that ignited that movement leading to the resignation of a U.S. President.
Each time, after I watch this movie, I am always driven to value and pursue the truth more, whether as a lawyer or as journalist.
This is a must-see for young, aspiring journalists.
The other film I would like to watch again is "Shawshank Redemption".
Unlike "All The President's Men", "Shawshank Redemption" is fiction.
But both are critically acclaimed movies.
"Shawshank" is a movie that extolls the values of freedom, friendship and hope.
I cannot forget the line here where Tim Robbins, who plays a wrongly convicted felon Andy Dufresne, said, "Hope is a good thing."
"Shawshank" is also starred by Morgan Freeman, the fellow inmate who became Andy's good friend with whom he demonstrated the virtue of hope.
Amdist the adversities and the difficulties in life, it is still worthwhile to hope, because in life, hope is a good thing.
Hope is liberating.
Hope will set you free.
These two movies I am sharing "All The President's Men" and "Shawshank Redemption" project a common theme: Freedom.
In "All the Preisdent's Men," truth was the liberating element.
In "Shawshank Redemption," it was hope.

Christmas reflections

Christmas, for me has always been a time for reflection.
Christmas is special because I truly believe in salvation through Jesus Christ.
I also believe in my heart that we are saved by God’s grace, not by our deeds. That is how good the Lord is to us, His children.
All the Lord wants from us is to obey His commandment, that is to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength.
So since Christmas is at the end of the year, I usually spend time to reflect whether or not I have fulfilled His commandment.
For me, the genuine measure of success in life is to determine how we have fared in obeying God’s simple commandment.
I try looking back at the significant things that I have done this past year.
Then I find out whether or not these things were in obedience to Gods commandment.
Many times, I must admit, in my reflections, I have failed Him.
I look back what happened this year and I think many times, rather than loving God, I have loved myself with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength.
I think that is called selfishness.
Many times, I have taken the easy road, rather than that bumpy road less traveled.
Many times, I have not been honest.
What a tragedy, I must say.
What a failure, I must add.
I recall attending a lecture in Legal Ethics, recently.
The speaker began the lecture by asking how many of the lawyers in attendance have asked for a postponement of a court hearing.
Everyone raised their hands.
The speaker asked, were you honest in your reasons for asking for postponement?
No one answered.
The truth is, there is a host of colorful reasons for skipping court hearings: having diarrhea, the witness has high blood pressure, stomach ache, conflict of schedule, etc.
Lawyers have a reputation of being liars because even in the simplest of things (asking for postponements), they cannot be honest.
Not surprisingly, they become the butt of jokes.
Bato bato sa langit, ang taman huwag magalit.
I have to be “lawyer enough” to admit this.
What is relieving and consoling, is God’s faithful assurance that despite my failures, God will save me out of His grace.
After reflecting, I try to look forward and do better next year.
I hope that we will have time to reflect about our sins this past year, and avoid them next year.
If everyone does this, I think the world will become a better place to live.
Merry Christmas!

Home for the holidays

My family are in Dumaguete for the holidays.
I always look forward to spending Christmas in Dumaguete City, the place I grew up.
In Dumaguete City at Christmas-time I forget everything I do the whole year, or at least try to.
I went to Cebu first last Tuesday for a hearing, before proceeding home by land.
Today we went around town with visiting friends who came from Maryland, the couple Lilibeth Montemayor and husband Joel.
My wife's hi school friends also were with us, namely Emerald Mengrhadjani, Analiza Alviola with husband William Ybanez.
We had lunch at Analiza's home in Valencia.
Later, we had dinner at Hayahay.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mongolian Food

We are fond of Mongolian food.
I don't know exactly what that is.
I can describe it as food mixed with an array of ingredients.
Most of the ingredients are vegetables, like cabbage, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes.
Then you put your choiced meat, chicken, beef, pork.
You mix it with slice onions, crushed ginger, nuts.
There are different choices of sauce you can be mix with the ingredients you have loaded.
Then it is cooked and mixed.
Last weekend, we found this food store that offers Mongolian food at Cash and Carry.
The Store is named Mongolian Quick Stop.
We learned it has branches in SM Makati, and Waltermart along Don Chino Roces.
Very delicious.
We had been captivated by the Mongolian food we ate one dinner in Baguio, the famous Oh My Khan.
The Mongolian Quick Stop offers a similar treat.
Its affordable.
Priced at P175, you can have all the ingredients you can load on the bowl.
For a smaller bowl you can fill it at P139.
Try it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shake Off, Stand over

Today Sunday I attended mass.
The homily was the parable of the "shake-off, stand-over" carabao.
Once there was a carabao that fell onto a dried up well.
When the villagers living in the area learned about this, they tried to kill the carabao.
What they did was to bury the carabao alive in the dry well.
So the villagers threw soil, garbage, dirt, and everything to bury the carabao with.
Each time they threw the soil, garbage and dirt, it settled on the carabao's back.
And each time it settled on the carabao's back, the carabao would shake off its back and remove it, and the soil, garbage and dirt settled to the ground.
Thus, it would allow the carabao to stand over the soil, garbage and dirt.
this happened continuously until the soil, garbage and dirt piled up and the carabao was gradually elevated until it reached the surface.
Instead of burying alive the carabao with soil, garbage and dirt, the carabao used it to stand over after shaking it off.
The morale of the story?
Each time you feel down, when soil, garbage and dirt are thrown upon you.
Just shake it off, and stand over it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Press freedom – a human right

Lest we forget, press freedom is among the universally cherished freedoms around the world.

Evidence of this is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed, and adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations sixty years ago, or on December 10, 1948, to be exact.

One of the cherished values is to respect the opinion of others, and their right to express their opinions, no matter how absurd, irrational, stupid it may be.

The freedom to have an opinion and express it openly is explicitly recognized as a basic human right.

To respect the opinion of others is to uphold human dignity.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights expressly acknowledges that:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

It is incumbent upon all freedom loving people not only to practice the sacred right to hold an opinion and express the same, but to protect it, defend it, and assert it if threatened, specially by the powers the be.

In our local community, and in the experience of the Negros Chronicle, we have encountered various attempts and threats to suppress the free flow of information and opinion, particularly by those who have been given temporary opportunities to sit in the corridors of power.

Instead of cherishing, upholding and promoting this basic human right, those wielding borrowed political power---who by the way are the sterling models of political mediocrity and untold immaturity--- try endlessly to stifle such right.

We thus find it fitting to recall the words of the late Justice Hugo Black, a famed member of the United States Supreme Court, in his concurring opinion in the infamous Pentagon Papers case (New York Times versus United States, 402 U.S. 713 [1971]) where the Nixon administration had tried to suppress the flow of vital information relating to the Vietnam war:

The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets
of the government and inform the people. Only a free and
unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in
government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a
free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government
from deceiving the people.

We thus re-commit our obligation as freedom-loving individuals, not only to practice these liberties, but to defend them, and assert them, so the free flow of information to the people is maintained.

We join the whole community of nations yearning for freedom, as we commemorate that historic proclamation of fundamental and basic human rights sixty years ago by people united in belief, and uncompromisingly committed to uphold human dignity.

Friday, December 12, 2008

P11M Amlan hydropower plant to be built

An P11M hydropower plant will soon begin construction in Amlan, the first hydro power plant to be built in Negros Oriental, to serve the electricity needs of the town and nearby areas.
This was learned from Juan Eugenio “Johnny” Roxas, who hails from Dumaguete City, and is the president of ICS Renewables, the company that won the bidding for the hydro facility
Located in Sitio Pasalan, Barangay Silab, Amlan, Negros Oriental, the Amlan plant is the first power facility to be constructed in the province. According to Mr. Roxas, “it is designed to operate as a base-load plant, supplying the town of Amlan and nearby villages.”
Last Wednesday Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) conducted a state auction for the Amlan hydro power plant.
ICS Renewables topped the bidding, after it offered US$230,000 (or P11,270,000.00) for the Negros Oriental-based generating facility.
“The winning bid exceeded the reserve price set by the PSALM Board for the generating asset,” the state-run company said in a statement, without disclosing any figures.
ICS Renewables is a newly incorporated, Filipino-owned company engaged in the manufacture of alternative fuels. Its president is Mr. Juan Eugenio “Johnny” Roxas of Dumaguete City.
The firm is also involved in acquiring, developing, owning, leasing, subleasing, operating and managing real and personal property of every kind and description, including but not limited to, properties using alternative fuels and other environment-friendly device or equipment.
ICS Renewables would be declared the winning bidder of the Amlan plant as soon as PSALM has verified the accuracy, authenticity and completeness of the bid documents that the company had submitted. Psalm will then issue the Notice of Award to formally notify ICS Renewables as the winning bidder.
With the sale of the Amlan hydro plant, PSALM closed the government’s power privatization program for 2008 on a positive note as it successfully bid out more than its targeted 70 percent of the National Power Corp.’s generating assets in the Luzon and Visayas grids.
PSALM achieved its privatization goal for this year after successfully selling the 146.5-megawatt Panay and 22-megawatt Bohol power plant package on November 12.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tough times hit home

If you think the United States is so far away that the Philippines is not affected by the recession, think again.
Tough times have hit home---this early.
My fear is, its going to get worse next year.
One of the hardest hit is the call center industry here.
Marsha, a friend's wife works in a call center.
Her employer laid off call center agents in a snap, when one of its largest U.S. clients pulled out.
In a call center, you can loose your job in a flash.
Fortunately, Marsha was able to jump to another call center job, owing to her experience.
Maureen, a cousin, works in a Japanese-owned forwarding company operating in Cebu and Manila.
She said exports to the U.S. have fallen sharply.
"If you talk about one hundred fifty container vans exported before, now you have only twenty container vans shippped out," she said.
Graphically, that's how steep the fall in exports is, she said.
Home Depot in the U.S. used to order thousands of pots (for plants) from Cebu regularly.
The exports have stopped as Home Depot discontinued ordering Cebu-made pots.
Cebuano pot manufacturing workers, suddenly lost their jobs.
A friend's father works in a casino in Las Vegas.
If the tip in casinos before was US$600, today its US$60, we learned.
This means far lesser dollars remitted to relatives in the Philippines.
Rey, a structural enginner who holds a managerial position in a U.S.-based firm in Manila, said that they had a major client in the U.S. who engaged their building-design services.
The contract with their structural engineering firm was inked already, while the client was awaiting release of the proceeds of a multi-million dollar loan in the U.S. to fund the building construction.
The U.S. loan did not materialize, hence the structural engineering agreement abruptly came to a standstill---no more money.
The U.S. recession indeed, has directly affected, and will continue to affect the Philippine economy.
Manny Pacquiao is the exception.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Journey Arnel Pineda Open Arms with Zoo at Hard Rock Makati

Journey's Arnel Pineda belts out the band's classic ballad Open Arms, with The Zoo at the Hard Rock Cafe in Makati City. This was in May 2008 before he left to join Journey on its Europe and U.S. tour.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Pacquiao - De La Hoya Dream Fight

HBO production of the Pacquiao De La hOya Dream fight on December 6, 2008 lifted from

Journey Arnel Pineda: Don't Stop Believin'

When Journey's Filipino lead singer Arnel Pineda was set to leave for his European and U.S. tour with Journey early this year, he gave out a "drop-by" concert at the Hard Rock Cafe at the Glorietta in Makati City.
Upon learning this, we dropped by ourselves to catch a glimpse of our idol, with my son Joshua, and wife Ruby.
As I have said, Arnel Pineda is a unique musical phenomenon because he has bridged the generational gap that usually separates a father's musical choice from that of his next-genration son.
But Joshua and I share common choice of music in Journey.
While I grew up with Steve Perry, Joshua opened his arms to Journey with Arnel Pineda.
But we both love Journey's music. We share a common passion.
So we watched Arnel Pineda at Hard Rock dish out Journey classics appreciated by both parent and child.
That, you cannot experience with many other bands or singers.
We took video shots of the Hard Rock affair.
One of them was Journey's signature song: Don't Stop Believin'

Friday, December 05, 2008

Perdices debuts on witness stand

For the first time last Tuesday December 3, 2008, the city mayor Agustin R. Perdices took the witness stand as complainant-witness int he sala of Judge Antonio Estoconing.
Perdices testified to prove how he was deeply hurt about an article published in the Negros Chronicle, written by columnist Dindo P. Generoso on May 20, 2007, after the May 14, 2007 elections.
Perdices has accused Generoso of abusing his rights when he wrote the hurtful article. He accused Generoso of defamation. He is demanding that Generoso pay him P300,000 pesos in damages.
In his testimony, Perdices said Generoso caused him damage when Generoso, in his column, attributed the loss of Atty. Arturo Umbac in the 2007 mayoral elections to a criminal conspiracy and felonious act of electoral fraud involving Perdices.
Perdices also complained that Generoso had accused him (Perdices) of robbery, by robbing Atty. Umbac of his victory in the elections.
It was a rare privilege to "baptize" Perdices as he debuted on cross-examination.
I am not sure if he enjoyed it as I did. It was fun.
Perdices struggled particularly when he was asked to point out where in the article he based his charges, so as to enable him to extract P300,000 from Dindo Generoso.
He engaged in round-about responses. When pressed, his answer was "You have to read the whole article," or "It is implied."
In other words, one has to resort to imaginations to see the complained defamation.
That is the theory according to Perdices.
He miserably failed to point out in court the defamatory language and words he was accusing Dindo Generos of having written.
The defense here is quite simple: Res Ipsa Loquitor.
The article will speak for itself.
Just to recall, here again is that very article itself.
Kindly read and see if you can find the defamatory and abusive imputations that Perdices is accusing Dindo Generoso of.

"When trends are established in cavassing election returns, it is unlikely that it will change much. It didn't change much for the counsilors as much as it did not for the vice-mayoraltyrace TO THE VERY END. BUT IT DID FOR THE MAYORALTY RESULTS! From LESS THAN ONE HUNDRED VOTES AHEAD, the incumbent's lead streatche dto more than FOUR THOUSAND VOTES AFTER THE COUNTING WAS ILLEGALLY STOPPED FOR AT LEAST TWELVE HOURS WITH A QUICK BROWNOUT TO BOOT.
As if it had no connection to how the people voted for councilors and vice-mayor, it assumed a life of its own. Sec. 231 of the Comelec's RULES OF CANVASSING VOTES is very SPECIFIC in stating "It shall meet CONSINTUOUSLY...until THE CANVASS IS COMPLETE..." offering no allowable excuse why it should be stopped other than running out of votes to be canvassed.
Elections are not ordinary democratic exercises and stopping the canvassing "BECAUSE THE CANVASSERS ARE TIRED..." constitutes no less than tht echoking of democracy and the violation of the sacred right to vote. It needs to be addressed and the perpetrators prosecuted for this criminal offense of desecrating the people's democratic voice and the mockeryh of the electoral process.
The COLLECTIVE GUILT rests on those cnavassers who "became tired..." and the COMELEC officer who allowed the stopping of the canvassing, specifically Sec. 231. Under this rule CANVASSING SHOULD NEVER BE STOPPED! If canvassers get tired, they should be replaced.
"Until this can be sufficiently EXPLAINED, this columnists believes, that Mr. Arturo Umbac has been ROBBED of his apparent road victory in the last elections. The people's VOICE has been clear fromt eh very start of the canvassing; establishing a likely loss of hte incumbent mayhor. it didn't change much for the councilors and the Vice-mayor; IT DID ONLY FOR THE MAYORALTY RESULTS.
Strange huh? It might be good to hear from the father and son team, Lagahit & Lagahit, mayor's sidekick and city legal officer on how this can possibly happen! Will the people of Dumaguete have the political will to correct this apparent choking of democratic rights? Mr. Umbac's resigning not to fight for his rights puts this issue on the people's court. After all it was the people's voice which was baltantly stifled. We can only have what we deserve, right? Have a nice day!"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Touring Tagaytay

Last Sunday November 30, 2008 my high school batchmates and I took advantage of the long weekend and brought our families to Tagatay City, some 55 kilomters from Metro Manila.
With us were John Lee Lim who planed in from Zamboanga del Norte, Cenon Voltaire Repollo and his girfriend Valeska Vicente, Alex Abregana and wife Tricia, Judy Bajarias, wife Marsha Sygaco-Bajarias with daughters Sandy and Alessa. I was joined by wife Ruby and Josh.
We motored to RSM restaurant, one of the cozy places that gives a panoramic view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.
RSM is known for tehir specialty which is their uniquely-cooked Tawilis, a native fish from Tagaytay Lake and their special Bulalo.
We ordered both. It was delicious. It was re-charging, after an hours drive from Manila.
Actually, we were invited for the birthday party of another high school batchmate, Joseph Walde, who is now based in Sta Rosa Laguna.