Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Towing blues

Towing services provide assistance to vehicles that are distressed, as well as those who violate parking ordinances.
Today my distressed vehicle was towed.
I don't know what went wrong but the vehilce stalled even as I pressed on the gas.
I called my friend who runs a repair shop, who then called towing services.
Since the vehicle was "automatic transmission", the vehicle had to be carried entirely by a tow truck.
Around Metro Manila, towing services charge P1,500.00
Price though vary, depending on the distance.
For Subic-Manila towing, the price would be around P7,500.
The other towing services are those that tow your vehicle, in the event your car violates parking ordinances in Makati.
If your vehicle is parked on the sidestreet, you only have until five in the afternoon to park.
At five o'clock sharp, tow trucks will be dispatched around Makati like wolves preying on stalled lambs.
The tow people are quick to the draw.
Once they spot an "over-parked" vehicle at five p.m. They alight from the truck, and in a moment would hook the car to the tow truck.
In a few seconds, the car is drawn immediately to the impounding area.
One has to pay P1,500 to redeem the vehicle.
Its a good money-making racket in Makati.
It has sparked controversy.
Many are complaining against the sneaky scheme of towing vehicles.
However, vehicles can not be towed if there is somebody on the driver's seat. The driver will just be commanded to leave.
Be careful in Makati.
Before 5 p.m., be sure you are already seated on the driver's seat if you are parked on the sidestreet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Atorvastatin rings a bell for those with high cholesterol.
I have been told that this is one of the medicines the prices of which will be sliced to as much as fifty percent.
This is a result of the cheap medicines law.
Atorvastatin calcium is the generic name.
In the market, it is commonly known as Lipitor.
In the Philippines, Lipitor costs P60 to P70 per 20mg.
This is quite an expensive medicine.
Thus, its good to hear that atorvastatin is among the medicines whose prices will have to be reduced.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jabez' prayer

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of acquainting with a person named Jabez.
Fr. Mario Bije, SVD introduced me to Jabez’ prayer.
Fr. Mario told me, he thinks he has been given the gift of prayer-healing.
Jabez, the priest says, is peculiarly special.
Among his brothers, Jabez was more honorable.
Yet, Jabez was born from pain.
I don’t know how many mothers would name a son, Jabez.
Jabez means giving birth to a child in pain.
I am not sure if the “pain” that Jabez brought was labor pain at the time of his birth that his mother suffered.
Or it could have been the pain of shame brought about by his birth, perhaps due to having been born without a known father, or out of wedlock.
Jabez is special because he petitioned the Lord in a prayer.
And the Lord granted his petitions.
If the Lord grants your prayer, you must be special.
The prayer of Jabez has become a model prayer for many.
To many, the prayer has done wonders.
As a matter of fact, Jabez’ simple prayer was even subject of a book that became a best seller.
The prayer of Jabez goes this way:
Oh, that you would bless me, and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
In this two-sentence prayer of twenty nine words, Jabez prays for four things, that the Lord generously granted.
First: prayer for blessing. Jabez asked the Lord to bless him.
Oh that you would bless me,” asked Jabez in his prayer.
Second: prayer for influence.
Jabez then asked the Lord to “enlarge my territory
This is not a request for physical territory like expanding land ownership, for that is the work of land-grabbers.
Jabez’ request was that the Lord grant him greater influence among others.
Third: prayer for power.
Then Jabez asked the Lord “Let your hand be with me”.
This is a prayer seeking God’s hand that is all-powerful.
Fourth: prayer for protection.
Jabez asked the Lord for protection by asking, “keep me from harm so I will be free from pain
So Jabez’ short prayer is a prayer for blessing, influence, power and protection.
The Lord granted these requests to Jabez.
I like the prayer of Jabez.
Its simple, crisp, direct, frank, straight-forward.
Why don’t you make Jabez’ prayer, your prayer too?
(The prayer of Jabez is found in 1 Chronicles chapter 4 verse 9).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

McKenzie Rex

There is that taste of delicious, home-cooked food at McKenzie Rex in Singapore.
Memories of Mckenzie Rex popped up while thinking of that tasty, crunchy little squid, that is their specialty.

We enjoyed all the food that we ordered at Mckenzie Rex.
It's an unassuming restaurant at No. 66 Prinsep Street, nearby Raffles Hotel.
It was introduced to us by our cousins Ella and Marnie who also told us they frequent the place because of the food they serve.

It was a full meal for us when we were there.
In fact, we visited the place twice.
Prices were reasonable, and depended on the size of the order (small, medium, large).

Crabs are served, as well as vegatables, that resembled our own chop suey.
I hope to be back in this fine city.
I sure won't miss to drop by Mckenzie Rex.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Unbelievable brownouts

I am shocked at the reality that in Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City, brownouts are an ordinary occurrence.
Residents are simply made to accept the reality that day-long brownouts are experiences that people just have to accept.
How pathetic.
No wonder Negros Oriental and Dumaguete City remains to be one of the poorest provinces in the country.
When brownouts occur, everything is in a standstill.
The greatest adverse effect of these day-long brownouts is on the economy.
Who will invest here in the province when investors would have to contend with the problems of brownouts?
Can you imagine a call center being disturbed by frequent brownouts that would hamper their operations?
These brownouts are the source of breach of commercial agreements.
Take for example radio stations.
Broadcast facilities have signed contracts to air commercials.
If there are occasional brownouts, these commercials/advertisements are not aired.
Technically that is a breach.
What about the hospitals?
If there are important surgeries, hospitals would have to contend with perrenial power outages.
Not to mention the impact brownouts have on department stores, and ordinary traders.
Yet it seems that these brownouts in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental are things that people accept as a fact of life.
The irony of it all is that Negros Oriental is one of the principal sources of geothermal energy in the country.
Yet, economically this province remains at the tail end.
No wonder.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Marry me, judge?

You can't choose which judge should officiate a marriage.
Under our family law, judges are authorized to solemnize marriages.
There are practical reasons why couples would prefer judges to solemnize their marriages.
Most noticeable are those couples where one is a foreigner.
They usually tie the knot before a judge.
It's mainly because of facility and convenience.
Less hassle.
If couples want a religious marriage, they would have to contend with scheduling of the church availability, for instance.
There are instances where couples have to schedule as early as one year before the intended date.
There are religions that impose other requirements besides personal presence of the parties during the marriage ceremony.
Requirements include attending seminars and indoctrinations, in case the other spouse-to-be does not belong to the religion of the solemnizing authority.
If there are religious impediments, then having a civil marriage would be a viable alternative.
However, if couples want to be married before a judge, they can no longer choose which judge should officiate the marriage.
There is a Supreme Court circular (Admin.Circular.125-2007) which requires applications for marriages to be raffled, just like ordinary civil cases.
The reason mainly, is to prevent civil marriages from becoming a business enterprise.
The Supreme Court is aware of "package deals" in civil marriages, by enterprising fixers.
Before, there were those who would offer to procure all the marriage requirements, like marriage license, filing fees, the officiating judge, the reception, the menu, even the honeymoon venue, for a single fee.
One-stop-shop. No hassle.
But the danger is that because this is a quickly-arranged marriage, chances are, the documents wouldn't be processed and procured properly and legally.
Worse, there may be legal impediments which are purposely overlooked.
The supreme court averted this by requiring that marriage applications be raffled to a pool of judges.
There are judges who are strict, meticulous, and do not tolerate cutting-corners---which is good.
Marriage cannot be likened to asking for police or fiscal's clearance.
It is an inviolable social institution, the preservation of which is very much a state concern. Photo above shows Dumaguete judge Cenon Voltaire Repollo officiating a marriage. Marriage outside the court room is allowed, upon request or sworn application. Judges are authorized to marry only within their territorial jurisdiction. A Dumaguete judge cannot go to Cebu and officiate a marriage. It is not required that the officiating judge be also married.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PLDT wireless landline

I availed of the PLDT landline plus promo of PLDT.
The promo provides existing PLDT landline subcsribers of another telephone line.
This second line is wireless like an ordinary cell phone.
You can call from anywhere.
Anywhere you make a call, as long as the called party is in Metro Manila area, there will be no long distance charges.
For instance, if I bring my wireless landline to Cebu or Dumaguete and call a Metro Manila land line number, there will be no long distance charges.
Long distance charges will be billed if I use the wireless land line to contact a landline outside Manila.
If I am in Cebu, and I use my wireless PLDT phone to call a Cebu land line, it would be considered a long distance call.
The PLDT land line plus entails an additional cost of P250 only in addition to my existing PLDT billings.
When I applied at the PLDT main office in Makati, I was given a SIM.
I had an old cellphone to which I inserted the PLDT SIM, and it was operational already, having its own telephon number.
I am using my PLDT wireless (second) land line to make professional calls to land line telephones in Metro Manila.
It's making a lot of difference.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Morbid Matters

Michael Jackson has died, but there is yet no final resting place for him.
There is talk about having the global pop icon buried in his erstwhile Neverland Ranch, which Michael Jackson owned and transformed into a fantasy land.
It is private property.
There are rules to be followed before one can be buried in a place other than cemetery.
In Santa Barbara California , there is an application to be filed, and payment of four hundred dollars.
The other requirement is the approval by the local county, or the governing local council.
With these thoughts, I sought to learn the rules in the Philippines on burying our dead.
Our country forbids burying the dead in places other than those designated by law.
The governing law on burial of the dead, I learned, is Presidential Decree No. 856, known as the Sanitation Code.
The implementing rules of this law was promulgated in 1996.
The specific question in my mind is: can a body or remains be buried in a private place, other than a cemetery, like in a backyard?
The answer is yes, it is possible.
There are of course, certain requirements.
Keep in mind that disposal of the dead is a health issue, as far as the state is concerned.
That is why the law that governs it is the “sanitation code.”
First, any burial ground must be 25 meters away from any dwelling house.
The law also requires that no burial ground shall be located within 50 meters from either side of a river, or within 50 meters from any source of water supply.
So you cannot have a private burial ground near the Banica or Okoy rivers.
Those who wish to have a private burial ground must have clearance from the Department of Health.
To secure this clearance, there are many documentary requirements to be submitted.
First, there must be a resolution by the city council permitting the establishment of such private burial ground.
Aside from the city council, there must be certifications to be issued by the city planning, and the city engineers office.
The size of the private burial ground should be at least 1.2 hectares.
It must have a 50 meter-buffer zone around the niche, or the space for interment.
The law requires that burial shall be limited to 10 niches.
The niches should occupy an area not more than 30 square meters, to be located at the center of the proposed site.
These are just some of the requirements in order to have a private burial ground, other than a cemetery.
Here in the Philippines , to have a private burial ground would virtually take eternity.
Considering the usual government red tape, the soul of the deceased would perhaps already be at St. Peter’s gates, and the private burial ground would still be awaiting approval.
It is good Michael Jackson is not to be buried in the Philippines .
For in such case, perhaps his remains would have already decomposed in “Thriller”-like form, and the permit would still be hanging.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Prayer for Healing

Dear Tito Lourding and Tita Mercia.

I pray that both you and Tita Mercia will recover soon, by the grace of God. I firmly believe in God's infinite healing power. Thanking the Lord for good health is my daily prayer, for He alone controls our health and physical well-being. That we remain in good health is solely attribuable to God's goodness and mercy. That is my belief. I will include you and Tita Mercia in thanking the Lord for giving us good health. I will pray for your healing.
Take care

Sunday, July 05, 2009

New adoption requirement

There is now a new requirement for adoption in the Philippines.
Republic Act No. 9523 is entitled "An Act requiring certification of the Department Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to decalre a child legally available for adoption as a pre-requisite for adoption proceedings."
Under the rules and regulations recently promulgated, the secretary of DSWD or his representative, has the power to declare and issue a certification declaring a child legally available for adoption.
This certification shall be a pre-requisite in adoption proceedings.
Prior to the passage of the law, there was no required prior dtermination by a government agency that a chlid is available for adoption.

Music and Me