Archive for June, 2010

This list is very timely as today, the country witnesses the inauguration of its 15th President, Noynoy Aquino. Though I did not vote for him, nor will I ever do, he is the President chosen by the majority, a mandate by the Constitution to which I pledged my allegiance to. For that, he has my support as far as my desire to be a responsible and productive Filipino citizen.

However, it does not mean that I would love him. Or even like him. For that, let me share with you why.

1. The only reason he was chosen to be the Presidential candidate of his party, and probably the only reason why he won the Presidency, was because Cory Aquino died. If Cory did not pass away, their party would not even bother to consider Noynoy even for Vice-president. They themselves know his capacity. Or the lack of it.
2. He is a member of the Cojuangco family and their family is the majority owner of Hacienda Luisita, a vast piece of land that was magically exempted from the Agrarian Reform Program. Though he does not have full control over the property, if he indeed wants change as he promised, change that would beneficial for the most common Filipinos, then he should have had lobbied at least that the Hacienda be given to its farmers. He failed to do that. Now, he has the role of changing the country. Wouldn’t it be harder for him?
3. He became an official in Tarlac and a senator before. He has no notable role in achieving anything for the country. He may have co-authored some bills, but this are not his, as these bills just need co-authors before they can heard by the Senate. He may not have been involved in any corruption, but apparently, he is also not involved in any significant projects.
4. He is the son of a former President. Their family had their chance of serving the country. I think his position now shows political dynasty as its freshest example. Besides, Cory may have inspired the world for democracy, but her presidency also was lacking in true workable reforms.
5. His program concentrates on revenge. On ensuring that Gloria goes to jail. In short, his perspective is backward. Instead of forward. Instead of focusing on what should be done tomorrow, he focuses on what should have been done yesterday. Just like his mother, he lingers on the past and relishes on whatever bad has happened. Our country will once again relive the Gloria days because he will always insist on us to remember, not to urge us to move ahead. (I am not saying Gloria should be left alone, but let us ensure Gloria would not take the spotlight anymore).
6. Among the siblings, he has been the most active in politics. He has had connections in the government. How come the mystery on who assassinated Ninoy then has not yet been resolved? If one of your own family’s biggest problem has yet to be solved after decades of investigation, how can you solve the issue of corruption that has been present for centuries? Di malinis ang bakuran mo, and yet target mong linisin ang village park. Ambitious!
7. At the start of the campaign, they told media, especially Kris, that they would work hard together so they may no longer have to accept contributions from dubious individuals. I did not believe that. Now that the campaign expense report was published, Tonyboy Cojuangco was the biggest donor with P100 million. Now, Tonyboy has been asked by the PCGG to return billions worth of PLDT dividends as alleged part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. I thought Noynoy’s campaign was untarnished by corruption? Well, P100 million is no joke. How can he repay Tonyboy? Like pay it forward to the country na lang? Yeah, right. And my name is really Scott Andrada.
8. Before he even won the election, he was very vocal about not recognizing Chief Justice Renato Corona. Given that Justice Corona was appointed as one of the defense walls of Gloria, he is still the Supreme Court Justice. Noynoy’s statements during the election, and until now, seem to be taken out of Kris’ movies. Pang showbiz. Aside from the fact that he is creating division, instead of promoting unity to achieve the common goals.
9. He told the country during his campaign that the near-empty government coffers that he is about to inherit can be replenished not by increasing taxes but curbing corruption. Ideally, yes, it is possible. But realistically, in six years? I would rather believe Hogwarts exists beside PUP in Sta Mesa than this. Cory was not successful in getting all the alleged Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth. Now he is targeting the Gloria group. With billions in deficit, with so many projects to deliver, with almost zero possibility of getting any from the alleged corrupt officials, sana sinabi mo na lang na magtataas ng taxes pero tataas rin naman ang sahod dahil gaganda ang economy. Matatalino naman ang mga Filipino, madaling maintindihan yan.
10. The last reason is highly personal. Noynoy is too close to the Catholic Church. Too close for comfort. The Catholic Church, just like some sectors, considers homosexuality as sin. I fear that with Noynoy’s administration, the professional opportunities for gays would decrease. Would he be able to see logic behind the oftentimes blinding veil of faith? I am crossing my fingers. Bakit ba kasi sya inindorse ng Ladlad? Di man lang ako naconsult!

As the program in Quirino Grandstand ended, here I am, still working, for myself, my family and my country. After all, kahit sinong iupo mo dyan sa Malacanang, kung hindi tayo talaga magsisipag at magkakaroon ng disiplina, walang mangyayari sa atin.

To Noynoy, goodluck. You need a lot of this. As for me, eye cream. I need a lot of this.


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Truth Be Told

My good friend from The Bank, Daddy Long Legs, have always known that I just love Meryl Streep. So it he did not have second thoughts in lending me his copy of Julie and Julia.

Last night, after more than a week of rendering overtime, James and I unrolled the futon, turned the DVD on and sat watching the movie.

It was funny because Julie Powell started out a blog to rediscover what she wanted. I started a blog to help me define who I really am.

Julie and Julia both love to cook. I do, too! Mentioned before that I am of Kapampangan ethnicity, I was taught how to cook since I was young. Though, I would never be as great as my mom, I can prepare a decent meal, if I say so myself.

But one thing that got me more was that Julie’s blog has a theme. A goal. To cook all Julie’s recipes in one year. Other blogs have their unique themes, too. It made me think, if I am a reader of this blog, how can I classify it? Definitely not mature (asa pa ako na may mature experiences! Echoz!). Definitely not political. Definitely not a lifestyle-oriented blog. In my Preface entry, I told everyone that it would be about the life of someone born in the wrong place and time and trying to make things right. Am I being true to that promise?

After only a month of blogging, I am touched everytime I see comments and perusals. And I have this feeling of both inspiration and challenge. Inspiration brought about by people who find this blog interesting enough to be afforded a few expensive minutes of their lives. And challenge to keep coming up with materials which are both appealing and informative.

Do I have to belong to a specific niche of blogs? Am I being obsessed with Linnaeus taxonomy that everything should be labeled? Or am I afraid that I would continue on ranting about myself and my thoughts?

This the people-pleaser in me talking.

Am I enjoying what I’m doing? Yes, very much! Are you enjoying reading this blog? I hope so. I sincerely hope so. Do I dream of becoming big in the bloggers’ world? Hell yes!

So for now, I think the best recipe is to be true to what I really love doing. Or saying. Or writing.

Martha Stewart have always been an icon, a doyenne of domesticity. She was imprisoned before. Since her company is named after her, people speculated her demise after the scandal. While in the prison, she taught her inmates how to make jams! The day she was released, she went back to her farm, greeted her animals, went straight to the kitchen to cook. She is back in her game. Her company is doing very well.

I believe it is because she has always been a true brand of a stepford wife (though she is already divorced). The public can feel the sincerity in all her teachings. She is not pretending to be someone she isn’t. She stays true to herself. And it pays off.

Let me be true to myself. For my readers, please bear with me as I continue the journey of sharing myself and my mind and heart. I pray that this pays off.

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Beluga Ka!

The International Whaling Commission held its 62nd Annual Conference in Agadir, Morocco without reaching a strong resolution regarding loopholes in international agreement over whale harvesting for food and research.

According to Article VIII of the Commission’s Convention, the IWC can grant scientific permit for catching whales for scientific research. Though the member nation should submit the proposal, it is the member nation who has the power to issue the permit.

Yes, I would like to catch whales for scientific research, at least, it is what my proposal says, and IWC can take its time and effort to study it, but for the meantime, let me grant the scientific permit to my fishermen.

The only problem with this is that – not all these ‘scientific’ harvest ends up in laboratories. Studies by various groups have shown that they end up in restaurants, particularly in Japan.

I believe there is no provision in the Convention that mandates third-party audit of the whales’ fate made in the name of science. This is one of the loopholes of the provision.

One of the loopholes that was not resolved in Agadir.

Another issue is that the Japanese government continuously navigates the Antarctic Ocean to kill whales in the name of research. Recent news showed that Australia is more than willing to bring the case against Japan to the International Court of Justice. The IWC, with most of its members, urged Japan to suspend its Antarctic permits. Japan has yet to heed to any international pressure. In fact, it released its latest whaling permit for 2009/2010.

The Antarctic Ocean, due to its geography and climate, is a very good habitat and feeding ground for whales. Allowing dubious whaling activities in the region certainly disrupts the ecosystem.

We are not part of the IWC nor am I willing to join and recruit you in the Whale Wars but we can help save the whales by not patronizing any food with whale in it and let us spread the education about these intelligent mammals.

Most of the information was based on IWC’s website. Photo courtesy of IWC’s website.

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Black Clouds

This post is not intended to offend anyone. In case it does, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Let this be a warning, though. This post is the most emotionally charged so far.

How many times have I heard the request ‘No effems please’. How many times have I heard the answer ‘kumekembot ka kasi’. How many times have I observed that closeted gays have a higher market value than those who have gone out?

I really do not know the street meaning of effeminate. According to The Free Dictionary, effeminate is an adjective which refers to ‘having qualities or characteristics more often associated with women than men’. In short, pa-girl. Sabi ko nga dati, hindi naman ako si Vice Ganda (na I truly love) pero mas lalong hindi ako si Piolo. I was never in the closet.

Kung universally true na na mas mataas ang value ng closeted gays kesa sa out, I just envy those who can still hide. I have nothing against them. They have their own reasons for staying inside. As I have my own reasons for coming out. Pero nakaka baliw lang isipin, ano pa market value ko?

No effems please. Sagot ko, eh di wag. Again, di masama loob ko. Di masama loob ko na porque effem ako, balewala na guwapo ako. Balewala na matalino ako. Balewala na may sense akong kausap. Na sweet ako. Romantic. May breeding. Malinis sa bahay. Responsible. Balewala kasi effem ako.

Di masama loob ko sa ‘no effems please’ policy.

Whoever said that being gay was easy. Whoever said that homosexuality is gay. Whoever said that homosexuals are the sexiest creatures of all. If true, then perhaps I am not a homosexual at all.

I have a few gay acquaintances who, I think, are not as good-looking and bright as I am, some are even more effeminate. But they have people who adore them. Who made ligaw to them.

Ako never.

I always invoke strong reactions, words, from people around me. Si Scott kasi malandi. Si Scott kasi intimidating. Si Scott di kasing cute ni ganito, ni ganun. Si Scott, si Scott, puro na lang panget ang kay Scott. Wala ng nasabing maganda para kay Scott.

Self-pity. This is what its all about.

Sana lalaki na lang akong pinanganak.

Sana di na ko nagbunot ng kilay para nakapagtago na lang sa aparador ng lola ko.

Sana naging panget, bobo, mabaho, walang modo, salbahe at tambay na lang ako para alam ko kung bakit ganun ang ganito.

Sana matapos ko nang isulat ang blog entry na ito.


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Solemn Vows

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend our friends’ wedding in Tagaytay. Both the bride and the groom were former officemates in audit and we have all moved on with our professional lives.

James and I were there together with James’ audit group so it also became some sort of reunion. The wedding was held in the Chapel at the Hills, a very small chapel for very intimate weddings. The reception was held at Casablanca which has a nice view of the Taal Lake.

I always love the cool weather in Tagaytay so wearing my barong tagalong meant me enjoying the coolness of the air even more.

James and I have always attended wedding together especially since that we have the same set of friends. And we always tell each other that we actually save money in doing so. We get to be wed, hold hands while the priest was saying the vows, eat, laugh with friends, without shelving any money at all. I told him ‘Ilokano ka nga!’. Then we’d both laugh!

I am for the legalization of gay marriage. Not because I want to wear a Monique Lhuillier in the future but because of the legal opportunities that come along the marriage. The two of you can have properties for yourselves, named after the two of you. One of you can claim tax deductions. Both of you can enter into contracts and since your net worth are consolidated, there is higher premium granted on your capacity – as a couple, compared if taken individually.

I have heard this story about two lesbians in a very long relationship. They lived together, bought assets together and both have given all their resources for the materialization of their dreams. Since they were not married, the properties were named after the one who had more education. They thought it was prudent to do so. Then this person died, leaving all their properties to the parents of the deceased, as mandated by the law. Sad thing, the parents did not recognize the natural rights of the partner of the deceased. Sadder thing, she was left with no money because it was all named after her partner.

There are a thousand and one ways to avoid this but one simple way to ensure equality under the laws – lawful marriage.

Once, only once, did I ask James that if given the opportunity that gay marriage be legalized in the Philippines, would he marry me. It took him only a second to say ‘no’. I did not pursue the topic. We both slept right after.

I do not hold it against him. Knowing him for almost a decade gives me the power to understand. As La Greta once put it ‘what we have is more than marriage’. Taray!

However, it would have been better if we are legally a couple so we can apply for that Pag-ibig loan for us to get the house with a view with a big lawn for our two dog-children.

Or that a piece of rock on my ring finger would certainly seal the deal.

Libre ang mangarap. Don’t rain on my parade. But I don’t mind having rain on our wedding!

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Video of the Day

Saw this one in the news and it is so cute! Please allow me to share this with you all!

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A Decade of Friendship

I heard this commercial on the radio this morning about a car care product. One line went like ‘it’s been twenty years!’ Apparently, the setting was in a reunion of college friends. I suddenly remember how long have my college classmates and I been friends?

I told you before that I went to a state university in Sta Mesa, Manila and took up accountancy. Upon registration, the professor in charge of assigning sections for freshmen asked me if I graduated from highschool with honors. Being the mayabang person that I am, I said that I graduated Salutatorian and the recipient of the then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Leadership Award. She didn’t look up from her notes and scribbled ‘H-1’ on my card. H for Honor.

My classmates were a mix of rich and fresh-from-province crowd. You can feel the intelligence of these people filling the air. I am in the good crowd. Soon, the more than 40 students in our section would be cut in half because you need an average of 1.75 to stay in the H section. I made it through. In fact, I would make it in the H section until graduation.

But the prestige of being in the H section is nothing compared to the friendship I made with all my classmates. We were less than 30 then (students from other sections joined us in the second semester of our freshman year) and we were together until we finished the course.

My friends shared all kinds of college joys and sorrows, successes and defeats. We were together studying, wiping our bleeding noses due to the difficult exams, through break-ups, through falling in and out of love. We were there when someone was held-up by a thief, when someone was hospitalized and thought her future is ruined because she failed to take one quiz!, when our Law professor stormed out of the room because we were playing games at the back of the class.

We were together in review school, dreaming together about passing the exams, crying together in churches, sharing crumbs because our allowance could not keep up with the 24-hour review we were doing.

We were together when the results came out and some of us passed, some of us did not. We were together when we were hired by our first audit firms, when we received our first pays, when we resigned from our first jobs.

It has been so long. I never thought I would meet the people I am sure I would like to share my life with. My friends. Who are already my family.

Some of us have their own families now. Some still do not have lovelives. Some have gone to be so rich, others have become more gorgeous with age. But deep inside, we are all still the freshmen we were ten years ago.

It has been ten years. So much has happened. And I am ready to face the next ten with them.

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