Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Great Philippine Book Blockade of 2009

There has been a lot of clamoring for justice recently when social networks spread this article by Robin Hemley, where he posted that local customs tax importation of books, when apparently there shouldn’t be as this is a violation of the Florence Agreement the country signed. As a regular person, I didn’t actually know that books shouldn’t be taxed, growing in a country where almost everything is.

Here’s a link to a video to explain the issue in less than five minutes.

Many books of most genres are greatly affected by this. And quoting my friend Alex who summed up it well,

Administrators should let this sink in – these books are making our students read again. Deprive them of that motivation and surely, we’ll find ourselves more illiterate as a society.

For the time being, we are making a lot of noise in twitter, using the #bookblockade hash tag, and spreading the word via other means. So far, there are already a couple of officials who heard our plea. But we still need more.

Please help spread the word.

For further reading please see: The Great Book Blockade of 2009: Timeline and Readings and We, the People: As Readers.

Interfaith Rally in Makati City

“Kayo ba’y naniniwalang may bukol ang NBN-ZTE Deal?”

As I write this, Rodolfo Jun Lozada is delivering a speech at an ongoing interfaith rally in Makati City. Lozada is the star witness in the national broadband network scandal who claimed that Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, and her political and business allies were behind the overpricing of the project that eventually went to China’s ZTE Corp.

Among those leading the rallyists are former president Joseph Estrada, Brother Eddie Villanueva, and Archbishop Oscar Cruz. Estrada’s spanking red sneakers are hot.

For updates, read the breaking news courtesy of

Erap Now in Sandigan Bayan


Erap: Not guilty of Perjury. Acquitted.

Erap: Guilty of Plunder. Jinggoy: Not guilty of Plunder.

No U-Turn at C-5; Let’s Go to the 28th MIBF


While everyone (myself included) is going gaga over the 28th Manila International Book Fair this August 29 to September 2, others (myself included) are muttering the same word -though you’d have to replace the last letter with an o– as the adjective with which they would describe MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando after his latest implemented rule.

No more U-turn slots along C-5.

Whether you’re coming from Greenmeadows Avenue or from Santolan, you’re going to have to go all the way to the corner of Ortigas Avenue, under the flyover, to arrive at your C-5 destination (Eastwood City for most) – that is, if the place happens to be on the other side of the road. The result of this, as I’ve observed during the several times I had to go to City Walk last week, can be severe symptoms of road rage – for motorists, public utility vehicle drivers, pedestrians, commuters, call center employees, and (allegedly) Fernando’s own wife. (If you click on the link to this ABS-CBN Interactive story, you’ll enjoy a bit of whimsy about the MMDA Chair noting aloud that the turn is “malayo pala.”)

I am reserving further comment – at least until this and next week. Anyway I’ll be joining the rest of the Manilenyos at the World Trade Center for the book fair, far away from the congestion at C-5. (By the way, the wonderful and groundbreaking digest, Philippine Genre Stories, will be making its third issue available at the Anvil Publishing Booth.)

Happy reading and see you there!

Go for perfect 10 in 2007! Philippines as most corrupt!

The report is out from PERC and the Philippines got a score of 9.40, up from 7.80 last year in the survey of most corrupt countries in Asia. That’s a mere 0.6 points in getting a perfect 10 for most corrupt country!

In order to help boost our rating, we will be sharing stories of the country’s infamous corruption and red tape throughout the week. Find out why Entrepeneurs have to pay 20 people… I mean process over 20 forms before they can even open a small internet shop or how motorists are flagged by MMDA daily but their records will never have one single ticket. Do you have any corruption stories to share? Just suggest the story here.

ABS-CBN News – RP corruption to worsen under Arroyo, says watchdog
Bloomberg – Philippines More Corrupt Than Indonesia, Poll Says
Manila Times – HK group rates RP as most corrupt in region

But wait, there’s more! The talk on banning billboards post-Milenyo? Ah, well. Let’s just say all the billboards are back up, hopefully tied more securely to their posts. Billboard clutter is back. And the clutter increases with election campaign materials cropping up here and there. Lest they look like just one of those posters along the street or up in the sky, a catchy line always works.

Responsible Voting

The May Elections are drawing near.

Soon our streets will be littered with posters, flyers, cards and other campaign materials. Prime time shows will have campaign ads in place of product advertisements. And there will be mall tours around the country ala concerts, as if big stars will be doing shows. Oh wait, there will be actors/ actresses/ people from the entertainment industry in the campaign shows. Either they will be the ones endorsing or actually running for office.

will filipino politicians do this?

rm_ciutadansvote.jpgi was browsing my favorite adult website when i saw this pic. i thought it was a desperate move by a “fat ugly homo” to attract attention from visitors. then i got curious for i cannot understand what the words in the poster mean…then i started reading the article…

this poster is actually a campaign poster of Albert Rivera who is now running as the president of catalan (i don’t know exactly where this is, it’s somewhere in spain). i guess they call their mayors, presidents. when translated, the words in the poster mean, “We don’t care where you were born. We don’t care which language you speak. We don’t care what kind of clothes you wear. We care about you”

he says that what he offers is the “naked truth”. then i started wondering, when would a filipino politician be as brave as albert rivera? brave enough to bare the naked truth. i’m sure posters like this wouldn’t be seen anywhere in the philippines but i just hope that we see a lot of new politicians this coming 2007 elections that would be offering their service to our country without putting their interests first.


debenhams will opens its doors to patrons on Aug 24 at Rustan’s Makati. i guess this is one of the moves of one of the biggest retailers in the country, Rustan’s Commercial Corporation, to make international brands reachable to the Manilenos. this move would hopefully bring more foot traffic in Rustan’s Makati thus hopefully increasing its sales.

retail is one of the economies in our country that we have to maximize. look at singapore, one of the main reasons that their economy is really rising is because of the money that the government generates from the retail industry. i think if our gov’t will be able to maximize the said industry, we would be able to increase tax collections (provided that there will be less corruptions). hehehe. plus the fact that we can market our country as a leisure destination with all the resorts that are scattered within our 7,107 islands (high-tide) hehehe. visit if that happens, our gov’t will have lots of money. less corruption, please!

Nice shoes, Imelda

Heading out to dinner last night, I notice there is a security commotion at the Peninsula Hotel lobby front door. People are being frisked more thoroughly than normal and there are brown-shirted security guards roaming the corners of the huge atrium lobby.

Wondering what’s up, I asked the concierge who the fuss was about. To his credit, he shrugged off the whole disturbance as nothing special, but I knew better.

That’s when I asked the leggy blonde (hey I told you to hide your women!) and whipped out the camera.

imelda marcos

There in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, the hero to all shoe-fetish women worldwide with her quote “I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty,” was none other than Ms. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.

Looking a radiant 76, she tolerated my total tourist annoyance with much more grace and charm than I expected. She even had one of her security detail take this photo of us.

After the photo, as I excused myself, I looked down.

Nice shoes, Imelda!

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