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    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]

An Odd Mission: Spreading Goodwill and Selling Myth

A Spanish galleon is in Philippine port right now. No, just an awesome replica of one that sailed between Manila and Acapulco, centuries ago. It is one great delight for Filipinos to get a feel of the great old days with, sad to say, long time ruler and, yes, mother Spain.

In the 350 years of Spanish claim or rule of the Philippines that ended in 1898, not a few ships like them were built at the Cavite naval shipyards using the sturdiest, most durable and finest of Philippine hardwoods. Lumber as long as 70 feet could easily be fashioned out of the 4 to 6 foot-diameter logs that grew abundantly in Philippine forests.  >>Click here for the full article >>.

The Craziest of All Ideas for Filipinos – Self Reliance

I think, for a change, state should redirect its focus at self reliance. Yes, like, state should have a direct hand at industrialization where there is much need if not a void.

Adolf Hitler, reconciling capitalism with socialism, employed it. President Ferdinand E. Marcos  also made a push at there.  No, it is not dictatorship I am selling. They are  the good sides in them viewed from national standpoint that I am saying. Aside from self reliance, industrialization by the state where there is none, also meant more employment.

The idea of national self reliance is old. Filipino leaders in the past must have had it in mind. Like, without many infrastructures needed everywhere, they had Philippine National Construction Corporation [PNCC] for that. Today, with the private sector proliferating in there, the thing has naturally become a Burloloy [white elephant]. Whatever functions to justify its continued existence can easily be assumed by later-day agencies like, say, National Economic Development Autority [NEDA] and the Department of Public Works and Highways [DPWH].

They had National Power Corporation [NAPOCOR] and the National Waters and Sewerage Administration [NAWASA], that the private sectors under them today would like to take over. Ill-administered, top heavy and became financial burdens, these state-owned corporations are more in the side of burloloys that may be dissolved except for their barest function – Regulatory.

[In the world of ideologues, privatization is a lease of life to capitalism]

But back to self reliance. Let’s talk about fuels. Putting aside pretensions, the world went to wars for that. Nations invaded for that.  Terrorism is rooted to that. The latest world economic crisis was caused by a domino that is rooted to that.  Maybe, we Filipinos can pursue our needs for fuels without any thought of going into any war.

President Marcos, recognizing the very peculiar vital rule of fuels, created Philippine National Oil Company [PNOC] and PETRON. Aside from being a move towards self-reliance and stability, Petron also contributed to the coffers. I think, privatization of Petron, later, was some stupid monkey business. Because, the reasons behind their creation, unlike others, are becoming aggravating instead of receding as time goes on.

Self reliance. Surely every Philippine President that came and went had dreamed about it. The idea looks simple when it is not. Under the present circumstances the idea is in fact crazy.

Let’s talk of our Bio-fuels Law passed just a while ago. It created a big demand for Ethanol to fill but where are all the ethanol plants and the ethanol because there are none. So we import something that could easily be produced locally while saving on foreign currency reserves as well.

Let’s fantasize that government is putting up ten ethanol plants for a start. Imagine 10 ethanol plants where there is nothing! That will be sisiw [small timer]. Kayang-kaya, wholly owned by the state, or in partnership with other states and or in partnership with the private sector.

Perennial problem of troublesome informal settlers living in streets and gutters?  Then, state can start relocating them to the sites where those industries are and where jobs and housing for them await there.  That makes  the practice of selling rights in relocation sites and coming back to the streets and gutters a thing of the past for them.

No, professional squatters does not mean professionals who live in squatter areas. The term applies to squatters who have already  been relocated for the ump time so that it seems squatting getting relocated has become their means of living.

But Ethanol plants need farmers. Without farmers to supply the raw materials, mills are  no better than scrap metals. Many of those small farmers today are in the streets and gutters than starving back home or living more miserably in farmlands! They have to be enticed back to the farms from the cities. Financial-agricultural assistance, mabigat but still kaya. Maybe the presently allocated billions [21 Billion  a year] of pesos ‘cash transfer’, alms, palliative that does not solve the problem of poverty, should be cut and diverted to long range solutions.

But, most of all, farmers need motivation – stable and good price for their produce. That’s to sustain them and the system of production. That will also make many people in streets and gutters to pack-up and start moving back to the provinces. Yes, going home by themselves as they have moved into the cities by themselves !

But, to make farmers happy, State needs to elbow the Compradores aside. Or, leaving the traders as they are, to pose stiffest competition for them. State will end up getting its hands on trading of fuels, or fuel components, if not strongly dictating over the whole agricultural and agro-setup.

Laws will be needed. Everything and everyone that contributed to the deep quagmire that the nation is presently in will be rocked!

So, you see, as we go deeper to the bottom of  the matter, it gets more and more complicated. The whole idea is what and why I call crazy. It’s like telling the majority of our lawmakers to tell themselves to go to hell, or to get lost! Present day Philippines is much a creation of the comprador class.

Ethanol, the big talk in the country in 2000, is something nobody is investing. Apparently the problem is about trade and not about production. A look at the situation of the sugar industry, and of the state of the country’s sugar mills, are enough to douse any enthusiasm for ethanol, I guess. Interested would-be-producers see no guarantee in trade. In short, private capital has sensed no money in there, or else they’re in there now.

Should not we just drift with everything and everyone to the edge?  Maybe there is a miracle somewhere to snag the Filipinos for the better.

Still, I strongly recommend Stronghold Crusader by Firefly Studios for everybody or everyone running the state. Maybe they’ll learn a little of something from the game. And don’t forget to select Castle Builder Build peacefully, with just the camels for company!  There are big cats in the way, lest you forget.

Related Posts  here

This Time the Free Condoms Are At Fault

It looks like I went off-tract in my previous post, went on and on,  and fizzled away. Where were we when I went a side…Hmm…

Ah, Saying one thing and doing another thing… That is also one of the primary factors that contributed to the Quirino hostage crisis fiasco, if we remember. Negotiator Yebra told gunman Rolando Mendoza that Roberto Mendoza’s service firearm was already returned when Rolando found out later that it was not. It caused heat that fed until it blew up.

Currently hot, the President has a row with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines [CBCP]. He was seen assuring everybody that government’s role in the controversial Reproductive Health bill, which the Church opposes, is limited to dissemination of information and to leave decision and methods  of birth control to married couples. That is conflicting and is non re-conciliatory with government’s acts of distributing free condoms and other contraceptives.

Government has been giving away those things since several past administrations. Malacañang spokesperson has acknowledged their acts defending them. Was the President only thinking loud of his wishes on the matter when he issued his statement? Reality showed different from what he said.

The Catholic Church has always opposed artificial birth control, which is behind their now stiff opposition to the passing of the RH bill in general. Population control is a World program. It has governments for its conduits. It is also being pushed by Non-government [NGOs] and private organizations. Everything going on in there is, in fact, old. But for government to put  the matter into law is now met by the Church as something very different.

At the side, I suppose Juan dela Cruz will also be spending multi-billions of pesos on those contraceptives, next time, instead of the international grants at present? Money is not really the issue. Our system of accounting public funds is. It is one nagging issue in everywhere of our bureaucracy. Multi billions, almost all in the administration of President Arroyo, have not been accounted  yet and it looks like they’ll have to be written off. Or maybe the new administration can deliver surprises for Juan dela Cruz regarding them?

Then in the midst of the controversy, like an intermission in a play, entered tour guide named Carlos Celdran who made a dramatic show during a mass in the Manila Cathedral known home of the Philippine bishops. He looked very amusing in a Jose Rizal costume, which is a Charlie Chaplin outfit, actually.

But not contented with the big placard he carried that said DAMASO, the name of an abusive Church friar in Dr. Jose Rizal’s novel, he also yelled at the bishops for their meddling in the proposed RH bill. Anti-friar Jose Rizal himself might have been horrified by Mr. Celdran! If somebody does that to you in your house would not that  be invective and disrespect?  Let’s think of religion and religious beliefs and respect for them irregardless of sect.

Yes, the church is considered a house of God and is open to all, but… Hand cuffed, taken away and detained I guess Mr. Celdran has got it coming. Public scandal, maybe, or something like that? I really don’t know. And I guess his best defense would be for his lawyer to plea ‘insanity’ or ‘temporary insanity’, I’m not really sure. I am a carpenter.

Forgive him fathers. He said he has no regret whatsoever for what he did. Maybe the church is losing its grip on the young generation of Filipinos. Mr. Celdran, released on bail, has now become an overnight sensation that is heard to be reaping ‘raves in cyberspace’!

Where were we…But, I think, for the President, the issue has spilled beyond morality, beyond what is right and what is wrong with using condoms, with RH bill.

Saying one thing and doing another thing. The President and his men has got more reasons to be careful of their acts together because at the end of the day, the buck stops with [him], as he had said with the Quirino hostage crisis. Yes, folks, he pays for all his men and he knew that.

Saying one thing and doing another thing. The matter has got many ugly kapatid [relatives] not seen yet, for the President to be caught seated on that spot, or for him to be seen with, everywhere he goes, everything he does, again, again and again!?

Juan Dela Cruz an Outsider in His Own House?

A series of events leading to a certain disturbing point cannot be taken lightly. One is the controversial manner of release of the IIRC report. The President, or should I say his boys around him, can spend all the time explaining and rationalizing their acts. But they can never change the facts.

• That the Chinese got their copy first and Juan dela Cruz got his later.

• That the Chinese got their copy in full and Juan dela Cruz got his in parts and has yet to get part of it.

Wait a minute. Kayo ang Boss ko [You are my Boss] so said the President referring to the Filipino people. He is right. Juan dela Cruz sent him and everyone there to serve him – Juan dela Cruz. Kayo ang Boss ko, Filipinos will remember that as they will always remember President Estrada’s Walang kama-kamaganak, walang Kai-kaibigan [No favored relatives, no favored friends].

The manner of release of the IIRC report has projected the President saying one thing and doing another thing!

And Juan dela Cruz is not only sore but he is also made to feel stupid. The report is supposed to be his and he does not even know yet what he was saying in there that others have already read!

If the President can see himself in the eyes of Juan dela Cruz his nose now has appeared a little taller. Some labourers here beside me are also whining why it was all-businessmen that have no business in the U.N. he brought with him and why not did he include some labour officials to see their W.L.O. or I.L.O counterparts at there if he must bring people.

Austerity is good for a start. But that alone, as time drags on, won’t be enough. What else can a new administration that inherited a state economy that had already spent 93% of a year’s budget, do? Meaning he will be doing the same, financial juggling, too, spending money we have not yet earned! Boy, I can’t help but sensed the President’s gladness in his first address to the nation over some offers that are, in fact, carry overs of the Arroyo administration. Maybe he should look again because some of them could be sharks to feed on his  big Boss, desperate as ever – Juan dela Cruz.

His U.N. trip did not bring home 10 million jobs but he is singing now the same tune – Tagumpay! That is the old favorite song of all the other Philippine Presidents before, heard too many times by Juan dela Cruz so that the lyrics are familiar-boring, actually. Some observers are beginning to think the President is growing some mole on the face and his two front teeth are becoming a little bit conspicuous, reminiscent of some much disliked tenant in Malacañang that nobody even remembered as a cute lovable promising  leader before she became President.

And enticing foreign investors is good but it doesn’t work more than it had worked with past administrations. He inherited them all, and look at us today.  It’s been the main thrust of government since the time of President Marcos. Foreign investors need very little invitation. What they really have needed is good climate in their kind of businesses. The subject is deep and complicated than any of us can comprehend so that just seeing the sum would be simple and direct. Because, one plus one, plus one, has already shown three and will never show four or five. Factors have to change to come up different. I don’t think the present President is the bests of Marcos  up through President Arroyo,  all put together, a superman to do that.

I think, for a change, state should redirect its focus at self reliance. Yes, like, state should have a direct hand at industrialization where there is much need if not a void. That may be something patterned from the experience of the richest government and nation on Earth today – Peoples Republic of China.

And Juan dela Cruz as the big Lord and as owner of this big enterprise  called Republic of the Philippines expects each of his administrators to see things from his way and not to put a barrier in between and see things from their way.

If you are any administrator and thinks Juan dela Cruz is an idiot, an ignorant, a nobody or what, then keep disregarding him or better, throw him out of his own house so you own it! 🙂

How long, or how many times, should they do things like that before Juan dela Cruz gets fed-up? Never mind the constant enemies of the state. They are sworn to it. But Juan dela Cruz counts. Because thrown out of his house he may stand behind those wanting to demolish his house that he may  no longer like, anyway. 😦

By Gad, Juan dela Cruz is as crazy as Nero? No, we have seen him crazier, and crazier than people who would want to exclude him out of his own house!  We don’t want to see that.

Distinguishing Local and National Crisis, What’s That?

The recent investigations on the crisis show that there was a problem on distinguishing local and national crises. Because those who handled the crisis did not elevate the hostage-taking into a national concern, national officials found it inappropriate to just involve themselves or else muddle the then negotiations with hostage taker Capt. Rolando Mendoza. On the other hand, critics of the administration including Cong.  Lagman insists that since the case involved foreign nationals, then it shouldn’t have been taken lightly or at the local scale.

Local and National Crisis. I find that amusing reflection of Filipino politics and politicians. Do we need a law defining or distinguishing local and national crisis? Do organizations like governments need one specially written for them, other than already written and shaped over tradition, history and time?

Of course the Quirino Grandstand incident, in the course of it, became a national crisis. It started when the attention of the President was drawn to it and he got annoyed by it. In fact he went there and stationed somewhere in the proximity of the Quirino grandstand. That shows clear cognizance of the gravity of the situation no less by the President.

And I think it should have little or nothing to do with nationality involved because, next time, it might happen involving all-Filipino and yet would warrant national attention. Surely we are not second class citizens in our own country.

I have lived an organizational life, once. They went for us like these: Fiasco at the Barangay level ends with the Barangay officials and the town Mayor. Fiasco at the town level ends with the town officials and the Governor. In the modern day I guess that includes the DILG secretary because this added branch of government has been going down to the lowest level, which must be in its mandate.

It is assumed that problem encountered at the barangay level, for example, is conveyed to the town level, because if not, then, only the barangay level is accountable. Although the buck still stops with the Mayor… what he has done with his erring constituents… command responsibility. And command responsibility is reflected all the way upward.

Sometimes, uninformed by the lower level, problem gets the attention of the higher level that it may, or may not, act upon. They depended on the size-up of the situation. I think it is there that distinguishing local and national crises would like to elbow in.

I think some people here are questioning the soundness of national leadership’s judgment on whether or not it was time to take over and to have a more direct hand in what is theirs from the start, in the first place, as applied in the Quirino hostage crisis. They might have made a mistake like miscalculating the situation. That calls for apology and forgiveness. In fact the President has already done so even before the IIRC was formed to pick up and reconstruct the bits and pieces of the incident… if we remember a while ago.

But a law in there will tell officials what they can or cannot do in a situation even in their own domain. Going out of line, then, opens them to criminal liability. And what are the undersides of them? I imagine something like the President of the Philippines cannot, or should not do anything in the city of Manila because the law says it! Problema mo ‘yan Mayor at hindi sa akin, ha ha ha. Haay, mabuti na lang. Kung pumalpak, libre ako. Or, why not a Mayor or a Governor to tell national officials to stay out because he can handle it and he is perfectly within the law. Ayun, pumalpak tuloy!

Presently, when the mayor is in the barangay it is assumed that he is automatically in charge but in the manner that he is not taking away any function and obligation of the barangay officials. His is merely an override when there is conflict with the local officials. He is, in that instance, the de-facto direct highest authority of that place. So, in case of a f ck-up, the barangay captain simply said, “The Mayor was there, ask him about that.  Maybe he can say better”.

And all is reflected all the way upward to the highest level. I guess they are the results of what already are written in the charters of everyone, although they may not be found in one single document.

Shall we agree with Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman that heads should roll and these should include Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the other cabinet secretaries?

Whether or not the head of DILG Secretary J. Robredo, or of anybody in the Cabinet should roll, I think, depends on the President. Nobody, not Congressman Edcel Lagman, knows better those people than the President himself. The President is responsible for them. If there is any question about those people, the President takes it, again, under the principle of command responsibility. He swims or sinks with them is all up to him.

Yes, every citizen has the right to tell the President what is right or what is wrong with him, of any of his men, of his administration, the  President would listen or not.

But, distinguishing local and national crises, what is that? Do we really need something separate and distinct as that?  Let’s take blame. In the world where people were honest, honorable and dignified it was not necessary. People readily assumed responsibility and accountability even before anybody has even whined about it. It usually ends the same or worse for them, anyway. And that closes the matter unless people saw more than them involved.

In the world where people are quick to pass the buck and to point fault to everybody other than themselves, where common sense is a thing of the past, where rat-always-seeking-hole mentality has dominated, where wrongdoers don’t give-up even when cornered in the ultimate V formation of walls – pakapalan ng mukha or tipong hindi “magpapahuli ng buhay”, it appears we do need idiocies like Local and National Crisis with everything stuffed to that. Yeah,  another Burloloy in addition to what already are in place that actually worked better in the past until they were nested by rats.

Do you wonder why all the backlogs in Philippine courts? Why it took a simple man in the street five years to hear the court say that a harassment case against him is dismissed? And dismissed temporarily because the complainant failed to show up each time! Why some ex-cop  had gone boryong with the law? [Some of them I know killed themselves waiting years for their retirement money to be released than do things more stupid like hi-jacking of tourists. And one of their fears was that if they died their old widows might end up prostitute in some corridors of power seeking release of their benefits!]

Why the bureaucracy hardly moves? A little more to them and Filipinos will be non-insane people in a straight jacket. And Ex-police captain Mendoza might not be the last of his kind.

I remember a while ago, National Bureau of Investigation Director Gatdula announced the scrapping of some departments of NBI. Duplication of functions. Malacañang also announced some offices dissolved.  Yes, Burloloys. Saves on taxpayers money, too. Simplifying instead of complicating things, I should add, reducing instead of adding chaos to a chaotic world created by chaotic politics. Because, sometimes there are things added to solve problems that actually worsened them. Now that reminds me again of the Total log ban to save our forests that totally killed many of our forests!

Meantime whether problems are local or national, should we really be spending precious time on that, folks? If you are a mayor, everything down to your grassroots is your problem. If you are a governor, everything down to your grassroots is your problem. If you are the president, everything down to your grass roots is your problem. What more is missing? Are they not enough?

A Boring Drama That Swerved Bloody Exciting

Eight foreign tourists just got slaughtered in a 12-hour hostage drama that unfolded and ended at Quirino Grandstand in Metro Manila, Philippines.

It was any ordinary day for me and I was doing some construction work around the house. I’ve been constructing a hundred square-foot annex to my house that I intend to make into a small, neighborhood internet café. I’ve been on it for a month now, working solo for the fun and, of course, for the economics of it.

Like I said somewhere, my TV is always open people are watching or not. This time there was wife and daughter glued in there as I went inside the house. It was around lunch time and I was feeling hungry to make me peek what’s cooking. The housewife was done cooking alright, but the table was not set. Damn those Korean tele-novelas with Pilipino dubbing that many women have been addicted to!

But, no, it was not any soap opera.  It was Erwin Tulfo in TV 5 who was unusually out from his Tutok program that instantly caught my attention. He was covering live at the Quirino Grandstand with a tourist bus for his background.

So, it’s all about some tourists being held hostage by one boryong ex-police Captain who wanted some attention… Oh, he’ll get what he wants, he’ll be releasing everybody, and everything will be fine in the end. It could not be real hot stuff  like shown in  the face and tone of Mr. Tulfo. It must be another of those sensational TV reportings, and…I am hungry and I have many better things to do.

I carried my lunch to the TV set, eating alone.  The housewife was in her occasional mood of ‘my time is done, whoever is hungry just go get it’… Getting real and more insights of the drama are worth the while, but…I have many other better things to do.

Mid afternoon came and there was rain. In fact it was raining intermittently all day. I guess I was feeling spent for the day that made me notice the rain from a leaking structure whose roof was not done with flashing yet… Maybe I should be playing games in my computer… Oh, it’s still Mr. Tulfo and the tourist bus out there when I went inside the house.  Are not they done and over yet?

Command & Conquer [Tm] Generals by Electronic Arts is an old game that I’ve installed recently. I’m new to the game actually. I remember when beating Easy opponent was hard. Today, beating a brutal opponent has become equally boring as with the easy ones. Defeating two or more brutes has kept my interest in the game alive.

EA is the company that created Red Alert and Yuri’s Revenge. They are purely statistical-logistical economics and warfare, contests of strength and wit, unlike Battle Realms and Stronghold Crusader that are with social components, if you have not tried them all. EA is also creator of Speed.

What are old like me doing with computer games? Well, for me its one good way of unwinding. Games can be relaxing.

My PC and my TV are still located exactly where I have described them, somewhere here, before. I have learned to live with both just fine, focusing at any or both at any time. Like, there are times when I have to pause at the PC to see what is in the TV. Maybe it is the tones, some words or phrases in TV that automatically shift my focus of attention.

They’re firing! They’re firing! [Or, was it They’re shooting! They’re shooting! I don’t exactly remember.]… So, this hostage drama is serious than I thought…I decided to pause the game. And later it looked to me like I would be watching  for long so I decided to  exit and shut down. I noticed it was already way in the evening.

Here is the 12-hour action as they registered in me:

o Mr. Erwin Tulfo in clean white polo shirt reporting things as they get to him, with the hijacked tourist bus behind him, most of the time  I made a look at the TV.

o Mr. Tulfo announcing that two persons were approaching the bus and when I turned to look the camera was focused at him, or was it at the bus, but no two persons that he was talking about. [One of them turned out to be a brother of the hostage-taker.]

o One unmindful mongrel walking leisurely in the foreground, between the TV camera and the hijacked bus.  I guess in a seemingly still scene it was the only thing that moved. Or maybe it is that picture speaks more than all words put to [them] why I was focused at what I was seeing and lesser at what I was hearing. I was actually wondering whether or not it was any of those SWAT dogs that might have been set loose or wandering alone.

o SWAT’s many unsuccessful attempts to bash open the rear and front shields of the tourist bus with a sledge hammer. [Which made me think that maybe construction workers could have hacked better. Or, maybe next time it came to that, they should bring in a forklift to turn a bus on its side that will expose all, hostage-taker and hostages alike, to view. It will also be easy bashing  of front and rear wind shields for forcible assault. I got that from a bus accident I had experienced as a teen.]

o SWAT tying a rope to the bus door in an apparent move to forcibly open it. [I had bet it won’t work because bus doors are designed to swing in and not throw everyone out…But wait, good, it might topple the bus on its side… tossed and broken survivors are better than dead hostages. ] The door did not open and the bus did not topple. But, maybe they should include tying Knots and Hitches, like those taught to seamen and some construction workers, in SWAT courses.

o Before or after all that, a man in white was running as he was yelling, away from the bus, and on to safety. [He turned out to be the bus driver who has escaped through the windows in the left side of the bus.]

o When everybody seemed discouraged at bashing away the glass shields, some SWAT swung open the emergency exit door of the bus like it was no sweat!  After about an hour of frustrating attempts, why has not anybody thought of it before? I have not, either. I remembered seating next to that door many times as a commuter, have memorized and figured out the printed instructions, in fact, just in case.

o As the bus was gassed to flush out gunman [and hostages alike], people in their homes were focused at the open emergency exit door where anybody is expected to jump out anytime. Next thing viewers saw at the front end of the bus, was the hostage-taker already lumped dead, halfway through the glass door-window that SWAT had broken earlier.

o I think the biggest climax to all viewers is when two tourists, what appeared to me a female then a male, managed to pop out of the emergency exit by their own capacity. Before all that was a feeling of total carnage inside the bus. May buhay! There are survivors! It really brought some chorus of Ohs, Ahs and Ay, salamat from viewers. I noticed some neighbors in my company.  They just come and go without hi and without any good bye; no need for them to knock, too, since my front door is usually open most of the time. We are like that since I can remember. Yes, my sala is sort of a public area to some regular neighbors or their kids.

o But Shits! There was this mass, a throng, out of nowhere, and the bus at the Grandstand cannot be seen anymore! I feel like I was watching people at the end of a ball game or at the end of a boxing fight. Iba talaga ang mga Filipino.

o Last scene I remember is a lonely bus seating under a heavy downpour, I don’t remember seeing anybody moving in or around it… maybe it was the rain, or maybe it was time for bed. But, no, I did not readily sleep that night.

I tried to imagine myself as the hostage taker. It was impossible. I could not. I cant imagine any situation like that.

Next, I tried to imagine myself as the brother of the hostage-taker [who is also reported as a cop]. I saw myself approaching the bus like it was a pure family affair. Somebody tried to stop me. I insisted to be let in the police line. Maybe a media reporter got a quick interview of me “Sir, are you here to save the hostages?” “Hell, no. I’m here to save my brother from sure death! Because if I don’t talk him out of this, soon SWAT will be storming the bus, he is armed and dangerous and he is finished!”

And then I put myself in the shoes of the theater commander. “Who is that fool that tried to cross the police line?” “He is a brother of the hostage taker, Sir, a fellow cop.” “Just my lucky day. Bring that arrogant nicely in here. I think we have someone who can talk sense, talk point-blank, and talk best to Captain Mendoza out of all these. This must be my lucky day! ”

I guess imagining things is easy. Reality showed everything and everybody wasted.

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