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  • Do you know that

    If all your life you have always aspired and you think the one on top is no good, you must think again. Maybe you are no better. Or maybe you look worse!.. Or, why not think God. You're good but he loves you. You could end up that egotist stooge you hate in the mirror.
  • A small thief and a big thief are the same. They are both thieves... Uh uh, OK, we have a small thief and a big thief - they are not exactly the same... size.
  • People don't know good until they have seen bad, or they don't know bad, did not have any idea about bad, until they've seen good. Before all them could be hollow strings of words. [Tumen's doctrine]
  • Gagged people can sometimes be as dangerous as the non-reasonable. [Right of Reply]
  • One thing is always better than nothing. [When hope is gone; Kapit sa patalim.]
  • There will always be something better or advanced than the thing. [Law of Dialectic]
  • Putting down good or perceived good you lose. If good puts you down you lose as well. Try to be good. [Politics and propaganda]
  • Tyranny and rape belong to the same set of mind. They believe and look at themselves as too good.
  • When a person has lost credibility the best thing for him is to stop issuing statements because politically he has already lost any and all arguments. [Everything to a person - Integrity]
  • If truth can bring you down you must be stood on weak or false ground. If lie can bring you down then you must be stood on worse than scum!
  • Have you ever thought

    "True" church or true religion is a squabble between theists. Whatever it is people believe in must be of no problem to God. I bet He can speak very well the language of any man - any creature, actually. [A Universal God]
  • A man's gain may be another man's loss. A man's happiness may be another man's woe. A man's ease may be another man's sacrifice and misery.[Expropriation/Profiteering/Bureaucrat capitalism/Government corruption]
  • To err is human. That’s why it is not good habit to drop God’s name just to drive the self. It might be standing stinking shit aside Him. [Cashing-in on the gullible]

  • Man has sometimes relegated God to a mule. Religion and State need to separate. [Religions in politics]
  • Heroes are remembered for their greatness. The bad sides of them are all in the hidden files and folders. Villains are the other way around. Nobody is perfect.
  • Except for being a figure of speech, nothing is really absolute.
  • Some people are hard headed. They cannot be told once. Well, try and try again, who knows. [Big names that flopped in politics]

The Fox Jumped Over the Dog…

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog near the bank of the river. That is one favorite line I used to practice on with mechanical typewriters when I was young. Alas, to be honest, I have never learned to type well until now. Modern day typing with PC and keyboard is easier, especially when correcting mistakes, but this is not my point. I am more interested about the quick brown fox.

The Philippines is in the list of countries with high incidence of journalists being killed, intentional or intent killings of them, I mean.  In the roots of it, maybe the system is not really perfect in protecting the rights of citizens against possible abuses by those in the guise of journalism. Or, to put it from a different angle, maybe the system lacks ample protection for those in journalism. Journalism is always opposed at any move to regulate it, which in its view is infringement on freedom of expression. This is, of course, in the assumption that journalists know what they do, they know very well where they stand, and they are disciplined capable of self regulation.

In reality, I guess they are not always the case. In places where people appears helpless and hopeless, I guess it is cute of journalists to be crusading for one cause or another. But what is lovable at a time, exercising tremendous power, might also be a monster another time. There is no guarantee that power cannot be abused, like everywhere else.

Some of those who see themselves as journalists are hardly distinguishable from PR persons, propagandists, anything other than being reporters. Maybe that is what they call hanapbuhay – political, economic, personal, cause-oriented, whatever. Added to them are also a lot of print and broadcast programs, hard hitting ones, out there dedicated and focused at fighting say graft and corruption in government, if we can call them journalism. As we know, even to imply that an act of corruption has been or not committed, whether or not a politician is corrupt, are usually perceptions and opinions. They are usually at the level of allegations that are matters for the court to conclude. Playing persecutor, or the other way around, is not one  role of  media.

Surely, media cannot be a place for adventurism by anybody in there. We may call some of them as witchcraft, or manipulation of facts, harboring in media. Whatever, they are no reasons to justify for the killings. Such acts can never be justified especially in a democracy, to cap the matter. Politics has always been a hot field for journalists.

What Is Journalism And When Is It Political Activism?

Pure journalism, my understanding of it, is simply simple presentation of facts or truths, or factual reporting, if that is not hazardous enough kind of work. Because, as we know, there will always be persons amongst us who cannot accept truths or do not want truths to be out. I guess that always is the least challenge for those working in the side of, or for the cause of Truth.

journalism [júrn’lizəm]noun

reporting news for the media: the profession of gathering, editing, and publishing news reports and related articles for newspapers, magazines, television, or radio
news-reporting as a genre: writing or reporting for the media as a literary genre or style
Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2005. All rights reserved.

Journalists are human beings. They are also very much affected by, say politics and governance, good or bad, like every citizen else. However, good or bad in there is not fact but matter of opinion and personal belief.  Let us take government dole-outs for the poor, for example. There can be fact or factual reporting in that. However, for journalism to even denote or to suggest that government, therefore, is good or bad based on the fact is an over-shoot of the fact.  Good in there is an opinion, a belief. It is an opinion of its proponents who believe that the act is good. Others might see the same fact as useless, wasteful spending that does more harm than good thus, in their differing opinion or belief, is bad. In politics there is really neither right nor wrong. Like righteous and evil they are opinions.  In politics there is only majority rule after which come considered right and considered wrong. Some find their way into institutions  or laws that, then again, is matter of law and not of journalism.

Opinion is different from fact. Fact has no room for dispute and what has no room for dispute must be fact. Opinion is but personal view, interpretation, or understanding, of fact or facts. Any opinion is considered partial and may be bias. To opine is to stand for a cause. To intently drive for an opinion may be activism. A propaganda movement. In highly difficult situations like we have in the country, I guess it is hard for journalists to detach opinions from facts or factual reporting. We have seen political activism and pure journalism more oftentimes overlap. There is heightened risk for those in there because of that. I suppose that explains for the high incidence of journalists being killed, intentionally hit, I mean, in our part of the world.

Pure journalism must be apolitical, selfless, classless.  It is not business of journalism to pull down or prop up any politician, anybody. If bringing out truths has any of those effects, so be it. However, they are incidental.  Since good and bad are matters of opinion, I might sound crazy, but I think journalists should not wear that permanent smile or permanent wry faces while in TV. I think they look better with poker faces, showing neither good nor bad of the news they bring. Good and bad must be something out from the audiences, and never any intention of journalism.

I have high regards and likes for journalism, really. In the other hand, I think I have a few things in common with George W F Hegel why he interested me – we both somehow dislike journalism for ourselves. You see I am opinionated. If you look in all the paragraphs here, you will see full of them. This whole site is a mix of facts and opinions.

Anyway, I remember organizational life when I was young. Reporting is one of the things that I did. Reports I brought to meetings were considered drafts, or taken for tentative. The body always discussed reports before they were accepted. They went for me like these: The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog near the bank of the river. Somebody doubted if it was a fox and a dog but surely, they were. How quick was the fox then?… Uh, it was not as fast as a cheetah so,  for others it was not quick enough… How did I know that it was brown and not a soiled red fox?.. And how did I know that the dog was lazy and not just tired and sleepy?.. And, uh uh, OK, everything took place some distance from the river that for others is not near enough.

Ok, Peers, here it is finally The fox jumped over the dog about thirty meters away from the bank of the river if anybody has got more doubts!

Sure, opinions are always required, like when collective has to make decision based on factual reports, but they are clearly separated and different from reports.

Political activism in the guise of journalism? I am sure people do appreciate that especially when things go their way. However, is not that added danger for those in it? I think journalists are better off dishing out facts and truths, leaving opinions, what are good and what are bad, to the public, to the political activists and to the politicians. Majority will always go with truths and facts.  I think we can trust humankind on that.

Meantime, as for the quick, brown, lazy, near, good, bad, right, wrong, well, maybe we can bring them all in here but not in journalism. True media is one holy ground to probably be soiled. And the world has a long long way to go, far  from perfection, folks!

Nature Dictates and Man Is Slave – Obesity

More and more people are concerned against obesity. To trim and slim people have become multi billion-dollar-industry, actually. I can’t seem to look at scenes in TV where a steel tube is inserted in and out to siphon fat from some flabby person. The whole process is ridiculous in the first place. I can’t imagine. The situation could have been avoided.

Obesity is not limited to the rich of society. The poor, particularly that in urban areas,  among the malnourished have their cases of obesity, too. In urban areas, as the fangs of poverty keep closing in at the poor, poor are retreating to basics, will abandon all but foods.

Filipinos are rice eater. Rice as we know is starch or carbohydrates [sugar], high in energy but low in protein. High protein content in rice is in the bran [13%] but then rice bran is fit for animal feeds.

Obesity is rare in Philippine countryside. Getting meat or rice is not as simple as taking a little walk or taking a ride to and from market. There, people plow, they weed, they harvest, they haul, and they pound to cook and to eat; to do it all over again.  It is not as simple as going to the ref to see what’s for grub. They also walk a lot to socialize.

People have always talked about obesity as a matter pertaining to physical activity, artificial exercise, and food intake. Some have gone to pointing to chemical toxins by advanced civilization as one of the causes. As we know toxins affect liver and nervous systems. Liver and nerve diseases as causes of obesity? That one is new. Yet, others believe that illnesses and diseases are rooted in the mind. Directly and indirectly, I think, they are.

I think some obesity is linked to very little mental activity in people. There are people who think much while others think very little.

People do not just say things out of nowhere. Let’s take the word “lousy”. There are people who are, literally, lousy. That’s right, there are people who you can put lice in their heads and the next day lice will be gone. No anti lice shampoo needed. That’s a fact. Probably lice migrated to heads they found environment-friendly. Maybe some heads are literally hotter than others, I really don’t know except for the fact.

No, I’m not saying that most active minds are automatically geniuses because they are not always the case. I think degree of mental activity is something that developed naturally and became involuntary so that there seems nothing one can do about it when one is in or out. We have words like workaholic associated to that.

Mental activity requires energy greater than many people think, and in my personal observation most active minds are also more often naturally active and lean bodies. Have you been in a situation when your mind race and you tried to keep your body slow or arrested? Hold those fingers and your feet from wriggling! they are energy seeking to be released.  Mind and body  must naturally go together. Anyway, energy  from food intake must be about equal to total energy spent; rarely gaining surplus that we know will be stored as body fat, for one to stay lean.

For an obese person to be also an active mind and body, one must be  extremely a voracious eater – one negative connotation of the word Obese, meaning glutton.

Some people eat small yet they grow fat. That’s a fact. That proves suggests that obesity may also be biologicalgenetic: Efficiency of body to synthesize energy from raw material and efficiency in utilizing that energy. [Like  comparing old-fashioned home appliance that uses high energy when  the work it produces can be matched by energy-saving, more efficient, model.]

Advances in technology must have contributed to the rising cases of obesity. What I am saying is that maybe modern man is less active thinker today than yesterday in addition to already lesser physical activity due to changed lifestyles, plus richer food intake of the modern-day.

I guess everything is a two-way street.  But for most obese  it is more of a one way street. Over supply when there is now little actual demand will be storing or fattening.  Obese condition did not develop overnight.

Science has theorized that it was improved diet that had accelerated evolution of Homo erectus to Homo sapiens and finally to modern man. As man was gaining intelligence his nourishment went less hard to easy. Vice versa, that improving energy intakes supported evolution of size of brain, or supported bigger brains, for more intelligence. He was getting energy more than needed for physical activity. Man developed bigger brains and becoming more intelligent to where he is today.

Anyway, as a young boy I was always obsessed for foods. I remember being always subject of ridicule at the table. I usually ate as that of my father and any of my siblings put together. I had always wanted to be like some of the burly or fat bullies I saw around. One time, father had whispered to mother that maybe I needed some de-worming as I never grew big, and I never grew fat. I have always been lean.

As a construction worker I never had problem with overweight. My worry has always been about not to lose weight.  My struggle is against being underweight. When on the go I have learned to eat heavy at breakfast. I must also take snack at break times, morning and afternoon. Sweets [candies] which are cheaper, practical, and most effective as they are readily liquefied and carried into the blood stream, would be fine. That’s some trick I have learned when I was in the army. Or else, I might be burning body proteins down to my bones in every march and in every swing of a hammer. Today, as semi retired and when out of work, I usually eat only twice a day with just coffee for breakfast and at times of day. It’s called APPETITE, folks.

Appetite is the body regulating itself. I think everybody is just a slave to this thing called appetite. But some people must have their regulator out-of-order. And when appetite dictates ‘grab’ when it should be dictating ‘not in the mood’ or ‘not hungry’, then I guess that person needs handcuffs and shackles to keep him off foods. Teasing some people gluttons does not work. Something stronger than that is dictating. Some obese have simply grown callousness when it comes to that.  🙂

For those with overweight problem, next time you have your hands on some video disc why not try the hard copy version if available, instead? I think reading is more energetic. Reading requires more imaginations compared to seeing fast actions. Or, when not pushing or heaving any of those, I should say, silly gymnast thing, or instead of seating, or lying awake doing nothing , maybe you should have your hands on computer games – the one that requires quicker responses. Spend, spend, and  spend all those surplus, folks.

Gymnastics is good only for keeping flexed. Uh uh, ok, its good for both.

Meantime how about that lice test, folks? We Filipinos are known for cheating but since one can keep the result to oneself, please, no cheat! And don’t forget the count. There is mild, moderate, and high, you know. 🙂

The Dread called A(H1N1) Swine Flu

As been reported A[H1N1] Swine Flu is Avian flu, Swine flu and Human flu all-in-one. Ok, it has the properties resembling all three. But since viruses and germs procreate by splitting and not by copulating, it must have originated through any of these: A Bird flu virus infected swine. The virus mutated as it adapted to its new environment to start a strain of [bird] Swine flu. The virus happened to infect a pig previously or later, was infected by Human flu. The bird-Swine flu virus further mutated assimilating the qualities of a Human flu virus thus becoming a bird-human-Swine flu. Or, it could be the other way around. A Human flu virus infected swine and became a [human] Swine flu, and so on.

Whatever, the newest strain that then has the property of a human flu became Zoonotic or disease organisms that are passable from animals  [pigs] to humans. And, since they are now in man, they have finally become easily transmittable  among humans [and probably passable back to swine and birds]. All that appears theoretical, or presumption by science, as nobody was there observing right when the first freaks mutated.

The whole thing is intriguing. While most people would regard the matter as entirely new, similar zoonosis must have occurred countless times already since dawn of mankind. Man, swine and all the rest have always co-existed. But I guess what made this time extra ordinary is because it’s not everyday that something virulent like this one came to pass.

Other than them could be more intriguing.  Let’s be frank about this and face it. Mutation as we know is genetic [re]engineering. It could either be natural – by the organism itself, or it could be artificial – of Genetic science – by man. By artificial it could either be intentional or it could be accidental. In fact vaccines are related matter as they are actually disease organisms that have been altered by man. They are usually modified-live viruses: virus is altered to become harmless and then propagated for medical or veterinary use. Apparently, while vaccines are beneficial, even science cannot be sure about them. Per instruction, excess amount of them after each use, are exterminated together with all paraphernalia used.

No, I’m not a Doctor of medicine, a Vet, or a scientist. I am a carpenter who, once in a while, read works of authorities and experts in their fields. You see, I have a wife, I have 7 children ages from thirteen to twenty six and I have 5 grandchildren – the eldest of whom is six years old. I’ve tried to keep up with information that greatly helped in bringing everyone through this far. What we do not know cannot hurt us, right?  Wrong.  Information is important. It can save lives, or it can also save high costs of hospitalization. Right now I have actually two bulotong [chicken pox]  in the  family.

I’ve worked as pig farm manager in the 80s. I took the job that I knew nothing about so I started with the books. I recall about keeping  the farm secured from ruminants, especially birds to include chickens. Loose chickens will be feeding with pigs and some of them could be carrier of bird-passed virulent organisms. That, farm personnel who are with flu should stay out of the premises until they are well again so they also, do not infect the stocks. [Funny, I don’t remember anything said about humans staying away from pigs that sneeze or positive of Swine flu!]  For my own safety I really had to know everything about my line of work. And sure enough I came to know about zoonoses, like Leptospirosis and anthrax, among possible hazards. I don’t remember Swine flu as a direct concern for man. I guess they were no more than a simple sneeze to him then.

But, about A[H1N1] Swine flu, or should not we now say A[H1N1] Human flu, how really dreadful is it? Going through the total number of people infected, and considering the rate of mortality to date, A[H1N1] Flu appears nothing compared to say, Dengue fever. At 6 thousands infected worldwide and at roughly 0.01 mortality, A[H1N1] Flu appears dwarf when compared to other killer diseases.  The worrisome part seems to be the fact that as reported, there is no cure yet developed for those who are stricken. Also, as reported, vaccine might not be available before December this year.

It should be noted that number of people infected and mortality referred only to cases reported. A[H1N1] Flu virus is airborne. Thus, infestation, which is easily transmitted among humans, should be assumed more widespread than we people think. The infestation must be far beyond the numbers of cases diagnosed, confirmed positive, and reported. It can safely be assumed that more are infected without people probably knowing it. Thermal sensors at travel checkpoints are therefore inadequate at controlling the spread of the viruses. To compare, Dengue is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes’ bites. Dengue cases in Metro Manila alone far exceeded world statistics of places hit by A[H1N1]. The good news about Dengue is that, like Malaria which is also mosquitoes transmitted, they are more confined to certain territories. Dengue appears more lethal though  apparently more controllable. Dengue has frog-leaped great distances so that humans are also suspect carriers, to have possibly passed them to Dengue or Dengue-like mosquitoes, to start another outbreak. Malaria exists in places not reached or saturated by eradication program until the 70s when the use of DDT was disallowed.

Meanwhile, something out of Pandora’s Box doesn’t go away by itself. They just grow old. Meaning, there is no way stopping  A[H1N1] flu from spreading worldwide. Measures at containing the outbreak appear good only in slowing down its spread. But there must be something good at retarding that impending spread. Between a trickle and a swarm of something highly lethal is a big difference. Certainly time must be of help. Let’s hope the thing will lose virulence as it progresses. Yes, the sad and also the glad news is that the most virulent of them don’t last long. They kill their hosts thus killing themselves. That’s about extinction of the unfit by Mother Nature herself. Sounds hopeful and wishful thinking by me, you might say. Surely, something real can be done about this A[H1N1] Flu , which is development of vaccine or cure against it.  And that again, indeed, is a matter called time.

I remember not too long ago a scion of a renowned media person died of Malaria in Palawan. He was there to make one documentary regarding some indigenous tribe. The place happened to be Malaria infested. Natives have lived with Malaria for generations. They eat Malaria infected animals. They drink Malaria infested water. Malaria appears nothing to many of them. Not for the young stranger. He died around 48 hours after infected stricken. What’s interesting about that?  It looks like we had a classic case of one old-primitive meeting an advanced-updated. Naturally the contest favored the superior one. Now, which was which?

It also showed that resistance to disease is something developed, genetic-hereditary, or may be something passed on. That’s about survival of the fittest by Mother Nature herself, or something called evolution.

Meanwhile, always brace yourselves against any of them tiny things, folks. Added lately is only flu, just a more advanced and more virulent form of it. But, remember any of them agents of decay can pounce and kill. Some of them are probably already in us struggling for their survival. But come another time it might not be the same, for it could be the other way around. That’s right. Under some circumstances even ordinary flu can kill… the weak. In different circumstances, the same could actually be adding to the stock of the fit, which will probably win him the race comes another round.

Well, as been said, animal kingdom has always been an endless race for dominance of this planet Earth. Cheers people, you and I have out-paced and out-raced everything else this far. But, watch out. Maybe Filipinos should listen to W.H.O. and D.O.H. once in a while instead of brushing them aside because viruses do not salute age, sex, color of skin, religion, nationality, fame and wealth, and yes, social classes. Viruses are more than real classless, folks, so watch out!

Right of Reply, Environment, Bio-diversity – All in a Fix

Right of Reply, environmental protection, biological diversity – all in a fix? You might find that weird but I see them all strung together in some situation here.

The Right of Reply Bill

The Right of Reply bill, if passed into law, will make it mandatory for any [publisher] to provide space [equal time] or to print reply to anything that has been published by media concerning others, for no cost. Like I have already commented elsewhere, I think the intention of the proposed law is good. It is pro-democracy.

When one says something, there is always the possibility that another will disagree to what are stated. Everyone has always the right to express himself. Such has been guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. So, what is new about the right of people to reply, or the Right of Reply Law as proposed? Apparently one intention there is to expand, furtherance, existing rights of freedom of expression by making it literally more free, which is the good side of it.

But, as we have seen, the proposed law is strongly opposed by Media – the journalists themselves, who are supposed to be the bastion of democracy! Main argument is that the law if passed will stifle freedom of expression as it will intimidate people. Therefore, following that argument, the bill must be anti-democratic. Indeed, stifling freedom of expression is no doubt anti-democratic but the question posed now is: Who wants to gag who, actually?

Intimidation of people? Tell me what could be more intimidating to a reporter than a case of Libel or Slander. And the threats are nothing new. People simply have become careful and responsible at reporting. So, why would people then be afraid, or feel intimidated, to say things that are far or short of being libelous and slanderous?

If people are afraid for others to be more free to express their side, much more themselves afraid to say what they think is true, then, maybe they should not be in journalism, not even fit for blogging. And such are also worthless of any claim that they believe in democracy because such thoughts are in fact tendencies, manifestations of fascism – both sides of the thing are present.  It appears to me that this argument against the proposed law is weak.

Like I said, I like the idea behind this Right of Reply bill.  It’s not because one of the principal authors is Congressman Monico Puentevilla who is a Kabayan from Negros, a townmate from Binalbagan actually, but because of what the proposed law means.  No, we have no acquaintance.

Right of Reply is the same idea behind, or similar concept being applied in the Blogging world. And like traditional media, even the freer Blogging system is far from being perfect. For example, while one publisher claims objectivity, it may also warn that it is not responsible for what contributors say. But, by deciding on which and which-not of comments should be published, it is in fact driving for a cause in a very bias manner. Everybody works for one cause or another, people are aware of it or not. Sure, rules have to be made. But I think people should be or must be fair to all. Besides, how would people know that they are true? That an idea is superior and not trash that they could be carrying and pushing around? I think, ideas should stand all tests. Otherwise they are weak. Walang personalan, ideas that can be killed are inferior ideas that do not fit. Inferior in the sense that they could be out of place, out of time, or simply ridiculous

Anyway, a publisher may claim one thing or another. So does the second party when there is conflict. But, it is always the third party that finally determines what is what. It is the third party that determines what is right and what is wrong, what is sense and what is nonsense, etc. Thus, that everyone must be allowed to express himself  is always been right.

If my vote is needed in this Right of Reply Bill, I will vote no to it.That’s right, I will vote No. While I agree with it, I feel it is too complicated when there are other available, better options. What seems to be the stumbling block?

If it becomes law a tabloid with say, eight pages that people use to buy would be running more pages! Meaning, a publisher could go out of business unless the selling price of that tabloid is adjusted. Nice if patrons find the papers more interesting as a result of the new law, and if they think the increased price is worth everything. Because if not, then there would be a drop in sales that may set back whatever gains made by price increase, resulting to loss in profit. Puede siguro kung tubong lugaw sila.

Then why is it that it is the journalists who are actively opposed when it should be the media or publication owners who ought to be out there in the streets? Well, I guess, while employer–employee relationship can be contradictory, at times they can also naturally be one of symbioses. Because, if publishers fold up, then that in effect would be death of democracy by another way. Everybody under the fold dies. A pro-democracy law that will help kill democracy? I am also reminded of the Total Log Ban to save the forests that actually, totally killed many of our forests. When sawmills  and their foresters went away,  illegal logging and slash-burn farming took wide over.

Instead, why not people open website for themselves. Then snatch-in anything they feel should be commented if not lambasted. Never mind some silly warnings, I think anything publicized is free for all that could be snatched, or else maybe somebody should make it a law or clearly legal . And, maybe the Law can improve blogging, I mean improvement to people’s rights in there to include Right of Reply.

That by itself, appears unnecessary because tomorrow’s masses will be patronizing sites that they see are fair. It is natural self regulation by Mother Nature herself. But until then, I think, laws can help to educate people on rights and fair play.

Now, where’s Environmental Protection, Biological Diversity – all mixed up in a fix with them in there? Yeah, I’m beating some deadline right now and I’m still working on them, folks.

But, you see, yesterday my daughter who is in first-year-hi asked to go with her class to   La Mesa Ecopark. It was an excursion for the whole school actually. She felt very bad because I had said no. It was not about the P200.00 that she had asked for the excursion which happened to be non-compulsory unlike some of their fieldtrips. It gave me room to say No for some reasons.

Ecopark is now the fruit of peoples’ struggle and triumph to rid La Mesa dam of ecological threat to Metro Manila’s potable drinking water. One housing project for MWSS employees inside the reservation was successfully opposed on argument that the dam might be contaminated by its residents. I think what we really need in there, aside from the dam personnel, are no more than half a dozen hard working Forest rangers and then we can throw everyone, yes EVERYONE, out!

Now, who’s going to do that? Nobody can tell Ecopark that. Not the administration politicians, not the opposition politicians, not the environmentalist groups that are mostly  behind this Ecopark idea, and not  the foundations that support them all. [In fact you can save this page, as this is the first time someone said something like Ecopark is worse than the government  housing project that it had displaced in there!] You see, Ecopark is brainchild of Ms Gina Lopez of the Lopez group of companies, which is also owner of ABS-CBN radio and television networks. Nobody, and nobody except Ecopark and Company to walk out of there at their own free will, can tell Ecopark to go somewhere else.  The old abandoned Wawa  dam or the whole Sierra Madre  for example, I think, needed more help. We have millions of hectares of denuded forest lands out there actually being destroyed by man faster than they can be repaired or regenerated.

Wha?.. Just a while ago I thought there were people here at my back. Hey, people, where are you?! Please, comeback here! I thought we were going to free 12 million souls of Metro Manila from ecological threat by some horde!

I would like to write more about, but I really must go. Meantime, click on the links where you might probably make out things yourself, folks.

Or, did not I say I hated looking at them, Dan? 😦

Small Thing Everyone Talks About That Goes Nowhere

Palace exec cautions Senate vs moving to halt Hanjin ops.

Hanjin is in the Philippines and it employs thousands of Filipinos. That’s a fact. That it is there for profit is another fact. It is in the country to evade high necessary costs of production and strict law enforcements in Korea – Japan.  Their operation in the Philippines also gives them the edge to cut the throat of their kind somewhere else.  What more else is naked?

That Hanjin is in the country with nothing but all the good intentions,  therefore,  is something that one should tell to the communists or to the Philippine marines if they’ll believe.

Profit,  the Real motive

Fact is, business is business and profit is the objective. Other than that are hypocrisy, myth , merry-go-round ride and make believe rhetoric.  Fact is, when something is not profitable it goes out of business. Driving for best profit therefore is natural and perfectly in order of all business establishments.  And, only one thing is asked in there – compliance with laws and regulations, rules of the land. They are acts of goodliness, Godliness without saying the words. Words are cheap, anyway.

Threat of closure no longer works anywhere. It’s deemed childish. It’s like stumping feet and yelling at scattered mischievous monkeys that hear nothing. Fines are more effective. How about a $50,000.00 company insurance for every death, for example? Right now, one Filipino can die in there everyday and it’s nothing when all it costs is burial expenses!  Even that would be lucky considering that employers have battery of lawyers whose job is to see that company does not pay a single centavo. Now, that reminds us of the  700 death victims or so of the MV Princess of the Stars who until now have not been been paid their Php 200K insurance.  Filipinos simply are cheap.  Meanwhile

During Tuesday’s hearing on the rising number of reported deaths at the Hanjin Shipyard in Subic Bay Freeport, lawyer Ramon Ogregado of the Subic Bay Support Service Group said the unsafe acts of the workers caused their deaths and injuries.

Ogregado noted that there was a dramatic increase in the number of deaths in 2008 due to the simultaneous shipbuilding and construction activities.

Somewhere else in the world, looking at the deaths and accidents by Hanjin, Mr Ogregado surely must have  already been sacked. He is among whose mission is eradicating work related deaths and accidents and not rationalizing them. Facts point to him as a failure. Sacking the likes of him will also save  Senators and congressmen time and resources going to Hanjin, or to any work-place,  to oversee things themselves.

Health and safety people, government or private, are there because, indeed, some workers can be stupid to kill themselves if it comes to Mr Ogregado’s line of reasoning, or should we say tsubibo.  At least, they should send those stupid workers home if  workers cannot follow rules. And that exactly is the reason why  the need for safety people in there at the expense of taxpayers.

Acts of God; or, God killing people? – Whoa! There is always human lapse in every work related accident. Call them in-experience, stupidity, overconfidence, carelessness or what, by the victim or by another person besides. Ok, we call them accident, or something that happened which nobody wished. Otherwise, they are homicide if caused intentionally, or due to reckless imprudence.

Whatever, managements should be made to pay dearly for work related accidents. That’s for not policing or watching their own. That’s also about justice for the victims, which should be made easy for them.  [Even the Chief, Public Attorneys Office, found the latter frustrating.] And, if all profit goes down the drain because of violations of safety codes that could cause accident, and because of actual accidents, then that’s  louder than threat. Businesses naturally must pay serious attention to the rules and safety of their workers or they won’t make profit, which is the only language that business understands – shape up or fold down.

The number of workers in Hanjin and the ratio of reported deaths and accidents that happened over some specific period surely is outrageous and cannot be justified. It is only building construction, steel fabrication & erection and mechanical works in there, and not driving an army up the Normandy beach to say that 18 24 casualties are nothing.

[And Hanjin is the answerable party to government. Its business with its subcontractors is absolutely and purely its private business, or government must be derailed. ]

Accident, each of them, looks innocent. I remember a co-worker who shot himself with a Ramset. He saw it lying around in the workplace and thought he had the chance to get the feel of it. He thought it was malfunctioning until someone told him that the thing is impossible to fire accidentally. It’s got safety measure; it has to be pressed squarely hard against the object to be nailed, to operate. He pressed it against his palm,  pulled the trigger, and bang!  Indeed, the thing worked!

The thing can shoot a 3-inch nail through concrete, with a bang like they are sponge! Yeah, stupid worker, but that’s a case between him and management. Management had problem with the law. Ramset is handled only by authorized personnel covered by permit from government’s Firearms and Explosives – no ifs and no buts.

Back to Hanjin meanwhile, things will pass and morons like Mr. Ramon Ogregado goes on like nothing’s wrong. And, about all these talks of health and safety in work places go to their folder –  Political Grandstanding if not government neglect – since nothing was achieved.

Or, do we have Health and Safety rules, and safety people in the Philippines? I could probably be talking here of dreams, of things none-in-existence yet in the country.

I think the real problem is not Hanjin. The matter is about the little thing everyone talks about, which seems evasive in this side of the world,  called Good Governance.  And it always starts from the top.

Related post

Health and Safety, What Kind of Thing is that

SBMA exec  defends Hanjin

Palace execs  caution Senate

An Act of God, But…

Its nice that typhoon Frank has left. Having nothing in mind, I took a pillow and laid-back before my TV last night. I decided to pass time watching (not my program) until late evening news but I dozed off. It was around midnight when I woke up. I found everything strange. I was seeing Ted Failon and Korina Sanchez in my screen in quite unfamiliar settings. Looking at the wall clock, I realized I missed news.

So, ABS-CBN has a new TV program? It’s called HARAPAN, translated: Face to face, Point blank, Frankly, No holds barred, by Failon and Sanchez. Ted Failon – wala kang masabi dyan – nothing to say regarding him. That’s Filipino way short of saying that a person is good. I don’t like Korina in TV. I am not amused by superstitions and Guinness-like characters, and sometimes to me taste like Pinoy racisms, which are what her show RATED K seems to be promoting. I like her better in her radio talk-show , though, where she is also paired with Ted Failon.

The talks in Harapan were about a disaster at sea. So, we had another sea disaster involving Sulpicio Lines during the storm that hit the country Saturday and Sunday – June 22, 2008. Another one! And Sulpicio Lines again! This time it’s MV Princess of the Stars that sank somewhere off Romblon island. This reminds us again of some major disasters:

The MV Doña Paz, (Sulpicio Lines): It roasted or stewed and drowned 3,000 4,000 souls at sea when it collided with a petrol tanker named MT Vector off the waters of Batangas. That was worse than the great Titanic disaster by all terms! I remember taking that big ferry three times before, between Manila and Tacloban.

The MV ( was it the Marilyn ) of Sulpicio Lines (?) that lost hundreds of passengers, or was it thousand, when it sailed through a storm and which capsized after battered by storm somewhere off Masbate on its way to Leyte and Samar. Damn, am I getting mixed up by all of them.

Back to Harapan with Ted and Korina, there was this guest, a young woman who said 5 of her 10 siblings and their parents were on board the ill-fated ship. There was this lady presumably a lawyer whom I did not get to catch her position in the matter. And, there was this male lawyer that, unmistakably, represented Sulpicio Lines who assured that P 200,000.00 (U.S. $4,550.00) will be paid by insurance for each casualty. He was emphasizing that the ship was cleared by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and by Philippine Coastguard before it sailed. And I counted twice he said that everything was pure “act of God”.

Act of God! Now, that’s pointing the fore-finger at the great old man. “Nah, not me! I gave you steel instead of your old creaking vessels! And I gave you advance storm warning system, you moron idiot!” He’ll probably say to that!

I Don’t Fly

I don’t take plane ride unless I have no choice. If I were on a plane and it crashes, then I’m a dead man. I see myself as a good swimmer. I always told myself that if I were in a ship that sinks, I may make it to shore. They are what run in my head.

But above all, I guess, I love traveling by sea. Besides being economical, I always find them exciting and romantic – seeing exotic islands in the way and meeting nice people on board. Out at sea at night and away from dirty city air, the heavens are clear and beautiful. Each star is visible it seems, and their colors are more defined. The heavens can be viewed 360 degrees and from horizon to horizon. They remind me of how the stars and the heavens used to be so fascinating. But then that was long time ago in a small provincial town where I grew up, and something never seen by people in big cities today.

Of sea disasters and acts of God

Was not MV Cebu City, which sank off Manila Bay after colliding with a Singaporean registered vessel, also owned by Sulpicio Lines? I had been on that ship eight times before, to be exact, between Manila and Palawan.

I won’t forget my last ride of that ship! It was a fine day when we sailed from Puerto Princesa. I was thinking of a most enjoyable voyage ahead as the sea was calm as could be.

I don’t usually stay put when I’m in a ship. I could be at the aft watching the awesome power of the propellers. I could be at any side as the ship sails by an island or an islet. I could be any place I can get in a ship where I think is interesting.

I was at the bow getting the feel of the ship’s slicing through waters during this particular ride. I thought I was wrong but I had a feeling our speed was quite unusual.

The ship is awesome fast, I told a stranger nearest me. He agreed. He gave his estimate at 20 knots or more instead of the leisure cruise of about 15 knots. I was thinking maybe he was a fisherman. Or, who knows, he could be one of the off duty crew of the ship. He seemed to know much about seas and ships. A storm is expected, he added at the end of our conversation.

So, a storm was expected! Then it suddenly made sense to me why the sea was unusually calm and why all the speed! And we are there beating the storm to port! But surely ship captain must know his business.

We were at the mouth of Manila bay when storm was felt. From Corrigedor to port is about an hour. It was hell of a storm as we berthed at North Harbor. The storm was one of the strongest that hit Metro Manila because it came from the open South China Sea instead of the ordinary Pacific storm that is usually damped down by the Sierra Madre before battering the big city.

I reached Payatas Home all drenched, with roofs flying away and trees being uprooted all around. That was in 1994. And what a very, very exiting voyage!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

No tree broken and no roof blown-off in Payatas this time, but typhoon Frank’s aftermath shows far more deaths and damage than one has imagined. It now appears to be one of the most devastating – more sea tragedies during the storm, than reported in the National head lines. Storm from the Pacific usually hit Samar and Eastern Luzon, and usually goes Northwest direction. Frank struck below the belt hitting the Visayas group of islands and made a sharp upper cut.

Clarification: the MV Cebu City was owned by William Lines. Sorry

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