Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Just a Political Newbie

When you don’t have the money, it is better not to run in any elective post, unless, of course, you run unopposed.

It was Tuesday morning already when I got to contact Dad regarding the outcome of the election. He told me that his opponents bought votes for P150 and some kilos of rice. “Even you let a dog run for them, they’ll surely win because of the money” he downheartedly told me. “But life will go on as usual, my son. Probably the people are not ready yet” he added.

“Yeah, maybe next time” I replied. “Do you plan to file a protest?”

“Nope. It would be a waste of time.”

A lot of things swirled in my head. We have not really prepared for this. We left it up to Dad to decide on the last minute. We could have sent people in advance to do charitable deeds like feeding the malnourished kids, giving bundles of joys, distributing used books or maybe conduct some livelihood seminars. We could have also sponsored a basketball tournament, or a benefit dance, which I’m sure, would lure more people. But we didn’t.

Maybe next time, when I have enough money, I’d volunteer as his campaign strategist. It would surely be a fierce match.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Entry Into the Dirt

Today is the last day of campaigning for the SK and baranggay elections. News about filling up the wrong forms were feasted upon by the columnists. It’s funny how an incumbent baranggay captain who is still on his second term, filled up the form for councilors. He will forever regret his blunder. Imagine him as the captain signing the wrong form. Outrageous! Now, he’s busy campaigning for the lower post.

On the other hand, I just wish all the best for my dad who is running for the top post in a baranggay in a town south from where I live. It is an entry into the dirt. He is a neophyte in this sort of politics but it is his desire to help that prompts him to run. We have plenty of relatives in the place, but so are the opponents. There is almost always a connection either by affinity or consanguinity. And sometimes, people give up their votes for simple happiness like money or a tuba drink.

How qualified is he? He used to be a PTA president (6 consecutive years) of our elementary school. Two school buildings and the gym were constructed during his term. He was awarded thrice as the most outstanding employee in the large company he worked for 22 years. He was involved in various cooperatives and livelihood projects. I can really attest to his heart for public service.

With a minimal budget, as against his opponents who sought assistance from the town’s politicos, he is determined to wage his battle. He is up against the son of the incumbent captain, who also happens to be the wife of the former mayor. I will not dare dissuade a man who has a good purpose. If I was only there, I’m sure I will campaign for him. If I only have plenty of money, I may even buy votes for him. Now I'll just have to pray for victory. I'm just kidding about the vote-buying though.

May the best man wins! But moreso, may it be won honorably!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why Are You Optimistic?

Imagine hitting the jackpot, or winning millions in lottery. Imagine a date with a prince or a princess, or marrying a wealthy person. Imagine a healthy and long life. Think about a successful career, and reaching the top of the world. Imagine your family in a big house, all smiles and having fun. Imagine a peaceful and wealthy Philippines.

What makes us optimistic? Is it because our rostral anterior cingulated and amygdale are working properly?

Take this from the article:
“When scenarios filled with optimism were imagined, two brain regions -- the rostral anterior cingulate and amygdala -- lit up with activity in the brain scans, the researchers said.”

Oh science! Do we really have to get an explanation for our every thought? Without a certain degree of optimism, what is there to live for? Now, I'm imagining positive things.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ferrari Rules

photo from

Before the final day at the Brazil grand prix (GP), Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was on third place. It would take almost a miracle for him to win the World Championship of the most prestigious motorsport, Formula 1. Lagging behind by 7 points from the erstwhile leader, super rookie Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, Kimi got to finish first, and Hamilton must not finish fifth or higher. Also in the mess is the two-time defending champion and McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, who, if placed second, and Hamilton slides to 6th or lower, can grab the trophy.

But in the end: Ferrari rules.

They won the team championship with the disqualification of McLaren. BMW is far second. The final GP did wonders to the Ferrari drivers. Felipe Massa took the pole in his home turf, and was leading all the way until the last few laps when Kimi Raikkonen overtook him because of pit stops. It was a perfect run for both Ferrari drivers. Hamilton got problems with his car and finished seventh. Alonso was in third place, fully covered by Massa. The final tally is very very close: Kimi 110 points, Hamilton and Alonso tied at 109.

This year has also been a very thrilling one for Formula 1. They are rocked by controversies on team spying, illegal team instructions, spat between teammates, disqualifications of McLaren in the team race, etc…

The retirement of Michael Schumacher opened the race to all drivers. All eyes were on Alonso, as he is the last man to beat the legend. But he wasn’t even able to beat his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton. Surely the kid is the driver to watch next year. He counts Michael as his idol. And I love to see him on the wheels of the red car someday. Go Ferrari!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

38 Qs

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Kempee de Leon. In last night’s “Kung Ako Ikaw”
2. What were you doing at 0800? Taking a shower.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Eating suman
4. What happened to you in 2006? I gained weight.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? ‘Ahh!”
6. How many beverages did you have today? Pepsi, 3 cups of coffee, water
7. What color is your hairbrush? Comb… blue.
8. What was the last thing you paid for? Lunch
9. Where were you last night? Playing badminton somewhere
10. What color is your front door? brown
11. Where do you keep your change? Pockets, car
12. What’s the weather like today? Cloudy
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Ube macapuno
14. What excites you? Sports
15. Do you want to cut your hair? In the next 2 weeks.
16. Are you over the age of 25? Yep.
17. Do you talk a lot? It depends. I don’t talk a lot if I’m with talkative people. I hate competition.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? What’s that? Nope.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yep. Mr. Spielberg.
20. Do you make up your own words? Sometimes.
21. Are you a jealous person? No.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Anna
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kevin
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? My Boss
25. What does the last text message you received say? “Ok ra”
26. Do you chew on your straw? No
27. Do you have curly hair? No.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Home
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Can’t name him/her.
30. What was the last thing you ate? Suman from Tacloban.
31. Will you get married in the future? Nah. Married already.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? ‘The WAR” starring Jet Li
33. Is there anyone you like right now? Yes. She's pretty and sweet.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Yesterday
35. Are you currently depressed? No.
36. Did you cry today? No.
37. Why did you answer and post this? Tagged by Jho.
38. 5 people you tag next? Gypsy, Hugz, Daisy, David Edward, Tin


I found these brainteasers from a website. This is just to check if my brain is still working.

Question 1:
Two trains 200 km from each other are moving at the speed of 50 km/hour towards each other. From one train a fly takes off, flying straight (upon the rails) to the other train at the speed of 75 km/hour, bounces away from it and flies back to the first train. This is repeated till the trains crash into each other and the fly is smashed. What distance is the fly able to fly until its death?(There is a complicated and an easy way to solve this math brain teaser.)

Question 2:
A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them to 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket?

Question 3:
A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn't break the law. How come?

Question 4:
A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?(This is probably the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. It is a true classic. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.)

Question 5:
I am looking at somebody's photo. Who is it I am looking at, if I don't have any brothers or sisters and the father of that man on the photo is the son of my father?


If you want more questions, check out the link above. Of the five, I correctly answered four. Not much thinking is required actually.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Money, Money, Money

I wasn’t really paying attention to the late night news. I just heard it was about bribery or something. In fact, this morning, the headlines were about the cash congressmen and governors received from the palace. It was only this afternoon that I got to fully read what it was all about. I usually read the sports section first.

Pampanga Gov. Ed Panlilio, in this report, shows the bundle of money. P500,000 in total. He claimed that another governor handed it to his staff. He declared he accepted the money in good faith and will use the same to fund projects for his province. If he’ll find out that it’s a bribe, he will return it. The others, I believe, are too afraid to come out in the open. The palace denied doling out funds.

One of our cebuano congressmen admitted last week, then retracted, that he received P200,000. He said that he was only joking during the first interview. Now, he’s in the hot seat.

Is it a gift or a bribe? Bribe for what? GMA won’t run next election. But she will do her best to complete her term. The impeachment complaint is a distraction and her cohorts have to kill it asap. Is it safe to say that it’s a gift? An advance Christmas gift? From whom? There are supposed to be rules in proper disbursement of funds.

With a questionable source of money, what would you expect of the disbursements? I just hope they’ll follow Gov. Panlilio’s action: account for those gifts, and account for the expenses.

Monday, October 15, 2007

See You Soon

I’m not really good at saying goodbyes, especially if I’m the one left behind. Well, maybe except for the casual hellos and byes. But for the long-term, I’d rather say “See you soon in “the land down under”, or in New York, or in Hongkong” or wherever the destination. Fulfilling it would be difficult, but who knows? The world is getting smaller and smaller for us Filipinos.

Yesterday, we had a despedida for a colleague who will migrate to Australia. The family will leave for Sydney this Wednesday. The party was actually a birthday celebration for their 3 year old daughter, whom I am one of the ninongs. But it was also a time of saying goodbyes.

I asked the husband about how ready he is and he just smiled and replied that he is ever ready. I can see that they’ve packed up already. This migration thing got them so frustrated at one time, but when they received their confirmation, their excitement raised to the highest level. It was a perfect timing for the husband too, whose contract in a foreign cruise ship ended mid of September.

It seems that Australia is a very famous destination for Filipino CPAs nowadays. Six of my ex-colleagues from the auditing firm are already there. My colleague, even months before her scheduled arrival, already have plenty of job interview appointments. She said that she is very well prepared for the challenge. She even bought plenty of shoes.

Well, I wish you all the best, Kumare! And, see you soon in Sydney!

Monday, October 08, 2007

That Online Image

An article in yahoo somewhat got my attention. This is what Liz Ryan has to say:

“A majority of employers now routinely check their job candidates' MySpace, Linkedin and Facebook profiles for any impropriety, prior to making an offer. Can you blame them? It's not so much that your prospective employer worries about your keg parties or those photos of you with your favorite bong. It's that they worry, with reason, about your judgment in throwing these items online for anyone to see.”

I’ve already done googling my name. So far, I’m satisfied to have behaved myself in the internet world. I have not posted my nude pics anywhere (as if I have one). I have not written something to degrade or insult anyone, even against our political leaders. I have not ranted like I’m ready to murder someone. No, not yet.

Even with some online alias in some forums, I kept myself in check. When you argue with someone online, it’s like arguing with a shadow. Freedom of expression is too vague. And it’s difficult to hide ones’ self in opinions. We are who we are, even in the dark.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Wish Manny Will Lose

"I wish Manny will lose in tomorrow's fight." I overheard heard this from a woman in a barbershop. "He's become arrogant, a womanizer, ...." The other hairdressers joined her in agreement.

A few of my colleagues placed their bets for Barrera. They said they're sure Manny will lose this time because of the many distractions during his training. And they point to the sexy lady as one of those lovely disturbance.

Well, I may agree about the arrogance, his flings and the annoying sidelines, but he's a filipino and one of us. I believe he is not just fighting for himself but for the filipino people. Let's all support him in this fight. We need a hero.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Lil Sis Is Getting Married

Bull’s Eye, our pet dog barked with joyful expectations. With tails wiggling, he looked up and eyes focused on the door. Half a minute pass by yet there was no knocking sounds. With his front legs, he scratched the door as if wanting to open it himself. Then my lil sis would blurt out “Ah, si manoy na! Mangilad na sad.” (Ah it’s kuya attempting to fool us again.) That’s how my sister knows me. And she was barely six years old then.

She is our youngest. She almost followed my every step (many times, literally). Close friends said she looked like me and there were so many similarities in the way we talk and act. In every game like scrabble, bible drills and quizzes, boogle, and other board games, she always comes second to me, ahead of dad, mom and her two older sisters. Teachers at our elementary school would often compare her to me.

Since I was already working when she entered college, I paid for her tuition. It was something I believe part of giving back to my parents. She also took up accountancy. But she really wanted to enroll in fine arts. I guess I played a big role in convincing her to follow the convenient.

Lil sis is not really the emo type. When her first boyfriend broke up with her, she didn’t really show much emotion. She simply sighed and said, “He’s not God’s will for me.” There were no tears shed.

A couple of weeks ago, when she wanted to tell me that she’s getting married, she just told me to go to our parents’ house to meet the family of her fiancĂ©. I already know what she meant and I just hugged her and told her how happy I am.

When I told my wife about it, she offered to help the two in their preparations. My wife also works as a wedding planner part time. Thought my lil sis did not seek our help, I know her enough, and I felt she badly needs our assistance. After the couple signed the contract for the wedding package, both we’re very grateful to my wife.

Come December, three days after her 26th birthday, she’ll say I do in a poolside wedding. Reception will be at the hotel rooftop having a very wonderful view of the city. I’m sure there will be fireworks.

Career: Move Up or Move Out

The news is out. My friend got his well-deserved promotion. I’m happy for him.

But is he happy? Twice he voiced out his intention to resign citing health problems and other work related stress. Many times he confided to me his rift with some of the executives and his frustrations with management. Many times we plotted our exit and our possible job adventures abroad. But he was hesitant to leave behind his wife and three kids, even for a year or two just to work abroad.

We were classmates back in college. We belonged to the same circle of friends and graduated on the same batch. He was one of our bets to top the board that year but he got sick months prior to the test. He took the board six months later. I lured him to join me at one of the top accounting firms in the country. When I got out and joined another company, I also invited him to join us in one of our affiliates.

Years flew so fast. We’ve been here for almost six years now. In a job like ours, there were happy and unhappy moments. You couldn’t just watch numbers everyday. You also feel down when black turns red, or when you question yourself when someone at sales puts the blame on accounting. Like they thought we invent figures. Or when some budgets are scrapped or when a benefit diminished because of organizational changes.

One day my friend submitted his resume to the firm we used to work for. But he turned down a managerial job offer because he was persuaded to suffer a little longer. Just last month, he unluckily missed an email coming from a “big four” partner informing him of a telephone interview for a possible work abroad. I saw the sad expression on his face. He said he was tired. I told him to quit. But he said he wasn’t ready because the timing was quite off. Quitting is not in my friend’s vocabulary. And I wasn’t really serious about him quitting that soon.

When I asked him a few weeks ago (before the official announcement) if he was happy or not, he simply replied that the promotion was some sort of a relief. Happiness, for him, is dependent of many factors. He still have to see till the year ends. But he’s grateful to our mentors for the opportunity.

What about me? When do I move up? On my part, to move up meant that I must relocate to the battlefront. That will be in Manila. I’ve seen executives come and go. Perhaps the safest position is in the middle of the hierarchy. Or when do I move out? That is another option that I have contemplated these past few months. I think I’ve waited long enough already. I might change career and start writing books for children.