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Monday, September 24, 2007

The price of technology

There are many speculations on the recent scandal that rocked Manila lately about the President's husband and Comelec chair, among others, allegedly bullying the son of the Speaker of the house, who admitted that he was a former drug dependent, asking him to back off on a government deal of a broadband network. As of last Saturday, the project has been cancelled. Together with this is the questioned Cyber Educatiun Project which has been canned for the moment. I will not make any speculations on who is telling the truth, who is making a lot of money on these deals, etc. What is clear to me is that this country will never go forward in terms of technology. Not if all attempts to move this country forward will be accompanied with a cloud of doubt as to the sincerity of its perpetrators to help the country and its citizens most of which is living below the poverty line. Too bad that it seems like our leaders are more concerned about their pockets as if they are competing with one another on who can have the biggest loot of the national treasury.

I am all for the investigation being conducted on these two deals provided that the truth shall come out and that the perpetrators are held responsible and put in bars. This will make greedy politicians and government officials think again before they risk going into another shady deal. But if these investigations will be just for show that will be put to rest and die and natural death by yet another issue, I say why bother? It will be just a waste of time and money.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Two fires!!

Last night, on our way home from school, I was surprised to find fire engine trucks blocking the way on my turn at the corner. I immediatedly asked a fireman where the fire was and to my horror, he said it was in our subdivision. My hair really rose up when he added it was near the basketball court. If that was the case, then my house might have been gutted down, too!

Nowhere to go, I parked the car by the sidewalk and ran towards home. To my relief, the fireman was wrong. The fire was by the gate and it was all over. The firemen were already rolling down the hoses, the streets were flooded and I can smell the air of damp burnt wood and ash. I proceeded to our house to see how my 84 year old mother-in-law and the maid were doing. The maid was ironing the clothes while the old matriarch was watching tv. Good! I was about to text my wife to tell her of the incident but decided not to for it might just cause her some anxiety.

This reminds me, just a few days ago, another kind of fire was blazing in the news room. Erap's conviction of plunder was all over the airwaves. I heard Jinggoy crying foul, as to be expected, saying that the Sandiganbayan was a kangaroo court anyway and that it was "created" to convict his father. This led me to thinking, if he and the Erap camp had been thinking this all along, why did they even participate in the proceedings? I recall Ninoy Aquino during the time of Marcos being incarcerated and brought before a court martial to be heard for acts of treason, crying he did not recognize the court and will not participate in any of its proceedings. I think that was what Erap should have done. By participating with the proceedings, he implied that he was willing to abide by whatever decision the court shall come up with. That is the risk of putting your plight before a court of law, I guess. Now that the court has given its decision, I think it is too late in the day to say that it was a kangaroo court after all.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Eat my house, I die two chickens!

That is my brother-in-law's favorite birthday joke! In carabao-english fashion (does that term still make sense to the young?) he would elicit at least a smile from his his friends who would happen to hear it for the first-time. Of course, what this is is an invitation for a meal in his house as his birthday treat for his friends. Well, I did not ask friends to eat my house nor have I died two chickens.

I promised myself that although I am turning half a century, I will not make a big deal out of it and just enjoy it peacefully with my family. And that I did! We went to a cozy restaurant on my birthday, and had a very quiet dinner. What I did not know was that it would be a very memorable one for me, too. What happened was, we had ordered food, let the children decide what they wanted to eat, and enjoy the meal. When I asked for the bill, my eldest said,"It's on me! This will be my birthday gift to you." I could not believe that my eldest, who is now working, would be so generous as to pay for dinner. You see, she has just graduated from college, hence, is only a year old in her job. Not much pay yet but she took it on herself to help pay the bills, viz., the electric bill. I was quite touched. Even her siblings were surprised. "Wow! You're really paying for it."

Not really that quiet

Earlier, in school that day, the usual greetings from co-workers and friends came alright. But since payday was a few days away, I wasn't able to at least give the perfunctory pancit for the faculty. There seems to have been some sort of understanding that a birthday celebrant at least provide a little pancit for everyone in the faculty lounge. I had been having my share of free food so it is just natural that I give one, too. I plan to do that as soon as the paycheck arrives :-).

Anyway, after the First Friday mass, my closest friends whispered to me, "Go to the conference room! We're going to feed you." And feed me they did! This is my group who have breakfast together as each one of us bring food for the occasion. Well, that day, they all brought something without my knowledge. One of them even had a sugar-free cake for me which I was supposed to devour all by myself for feeling guilty that they have always prevented me from eating sweets! (They're such a darling, aren't they?)

Who said there would be no bang?

I think fifty years is a milestone worth remembering. Our closest family friends made sure I realize that. Well, the family had been going out with these guys for almost an eternity now that we already treat one another as extended family. Our children practically go to the same school! What is even more significant is that most of us are September born! As each of our birthday comes, the celebrant takes everyone to a certain place of choice to celebrate. Not this time as I am a little strapped for cash. Two of my children are in college and being in a trimester, it is enrolment time right now. It's a little stiff albeit the fact that we do enjoy discounts.

Anyway, my wife told me that the guys plan to have a joint celebration a day after my birthday. We all went on an overnight stay at Tagaytay to party! I treated myself by doing everything my doctor forbids me to. I supped, wined and partied all night. Who wouldn't have? These guys are a happy bunch and I am not spoiling the day, especially for me.

Once again, I am ending this post with, "I am so blessed!"


Saturday, September 01, 2007

In September, I will be Five and O

Come September
when leaves start to fall,
die, wither, and be buried
by the winter snow
I shall be five and O.

I still have yet to earn
an obelisk to mark my grave;
a cusp of three gold stars
to catch rays of the morning sun
or the gentle breeze that echoes
firing of twenty one guns.

No crown rests on my head,
just streaks of silver
on my thin mane;
bulging eyes from sleepless nights,
traces of fat on my sagging skin.

Neither my words nor my brushes
have produced any lightning.
My pen is becoming stale
but the sun only rests
at night and sure to rise
in the morning,

Come September
when I shall be five and O
leaves may fall to die and wither
and be buried by winter snow
but my swan is not singing yet.

Fall is only at the northern hemisphere
not here in the tropics where I shall be
when I turn to be
five and O


Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
Posted by Hello
Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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