Issues of the day

Random Reaction

Around the world so many things are happening every minute of the day. I see news items on, on TV, hear stuff over the radio on the taxi ride to work every night, and occasionally I read the papers in the mornings too. 

I love the random reactions that go through my mind as I listen, watch or read. Really, sometimes I wish I carried a recorder around and just spoke into it so I could later blog them word per word. But that’t not how it goes. So anyway, here are some links to stories I’ve read this week and the reactions they elicited from yours truly…

Jessica Simpson’s pictures and her recent performance – I saw the photos first from sis Joan’s blog and my reaction was that I didn’t see anything wrong with the way she looked. In fact, I thought that she looked like she was having fun. Others hit her for dressing in a way that didn’t flatter her added curves, while others still hit her for allegedly letting herself go. In my eyes she was beautiful. I didn’t feel I had any right to bash her, because I don’t look that good in photos (yet, haha). 

I was surprised though about the way they say she botched her performance as front act for Rascal Flatts a few nights ago. So unlike the Jessice I heard about in Hollywood True Stories.

This one about FedEx leaving Subic Bay to move to China, I actually read this in the papers. I had the impression that they were leaving Subic because of the economic crisis, but apparently it was a business decision made quite some time ago. It is sad that hundreds lost their job there, but China needs the jobs too considering the millions of migrants who went home for the holidays and with no job to go back to. FedEx will still have a base for its Philippine operations but it will be in Clark Field, not very far from what once was its Southeast Asian hub.

I’ve heard about the birth of the octuplets, the celebration, and later the outrage that welcomed them into this world. I’m a fan of Jon and Kate, Plus 8 on Discovery but I’ve never wished to have that many kids of my own all at the same time (although theirs were a set of six, and an older twins). But as for this latest set of multiples born in this world, it’s quite a different story. I was surprised that she already has six kids (sixtuplets?). And more surprised that she was in her early thirties, and single! And though I am happy that all the babies lived, I can’t help but also question what has happened. In an interview she admitted not having a very happy childhood being alone. Ugh, okay. O-K. Kids are not treats that you use to fill what was empty in your life. Yes, they have that effect, but they should never be brought to life with that in mind, nor should you adopt a baby because you want something to make you happy. If anything, take them because you know you can make them happy. I’m sorry, I might be hurting the feelings of other people here, but the tug of parenthood, in my opinion, is a tug borne out of a desire to care for someone else.

Anyway, goodluck to the mother and the rest of her family. May they have what they need to provide for all the needs of all their children. And in a few years, I hope to hear how happy and healthy all fourteen kids are.

There were more stories that made me laugh, frown, or had me puzzled throughout the week. These probably weren’t the most striking nor most significant to me personally, but these are stories of our world nonetheless.

Child Safety Online

In a former life, my everyday life was battling against the commercial sexual exploitation of children, then of combatting the trafficking of children. But in the last three years, I’ve managed to steer clear of this advocacies save for the very seasonal activities I still join. When I saw the story on, some of the sparks were rekindled in me. I’m referring to efforts to rid MySpace and Facebook of registered sex offenders. That’s all well and good, but I think they can only do that for sex offenders who have been convicted in the United States. MySpace and Facebook have worldwide following, how would they address the possibility that there may be child sexual predators online who come from other countries too? It’s a good start anyway, and it really should be up to owners of the social networking sites to institute safeguards for kids.

One thing’s for sure though, it is easier to safeguard kids online when there are laws like the COPPA for the US, and the one for Korea too. Because it obligates web sites to have a strict privacy policy for the information of minors.

When to vacay?

My weekends (referring to my days off work) have been moved to Sundays-Mondays. My boss actually thought I’d be happy with the change but I’m not so enthused about it. One – Alfred and I won’t have the same off anymore. Two – I’ve come to appreciate how the movie houses and malls are practically empty on Tuesday nights 🙂 Three – the days seem to go faster for some reason.

Apart from having my off moved (which already started this week), my shift is being shifted too. Instead of logging in at 10PM, it’ll be 11PM or 12MN starting Sunday. Aw. That will widen the gap between Alfred’s shift and mine. 🙁

Anyway… I took an in lieu leave from work on Tuesday, just because. Originally, I filed for leave for the 19th because that’s our anniversary. Since it was my off already, I figured I’d just take the next day off too. It did me good to spend an extra day off work. Though we had to run an errand on that day, it was still okay for me all in all. Got me to think about taking a longer vacation soon. We have no plans yet for an out of town vacation (because we really don’t have the money to spend on one) but we have been talking about going for a swim either at Ace Water Spa or at Club Manila East. But I’m thinking that I need to de-stress and a day trip wouldn’t be enough to fully reload my guns.

The cold spell also seem to have left Manila already – it is so darn hot! Now would be a very good time to head to Baguio or even Sagada while it’s still cold up there. Or… go somewhere where it’s okay to be hot – the beach! I remember reading about their holiday vacation home from a digital scrapbook designer (Bonnie) and how I was so envious! It was a lovely place and I just know that if my family (the extended one) were given the chance to rent a vacation home and spend even just three days there – we would have the time of our lives! The closest to a vacation home we have ever rented are those private pools in Laguna – and they are NOWHERE near the grandiose and ambiance that vacation homes like those in the Outer Banks in the US have. Ohhh, the place that the XB peeps rented last year for the management team building in Caliraya, that seems real nice too but still not sure if it’s something we can afford. Ugh.

Oh well. 


A sad time for Microsoft.

It’s all over the news – Microsoft announces that 1500 of it’s valued employees are losing their jobs, and 3500 will soon follow. For a company who values employee loyalty just as much customer loyalty, this has got to be very tough for them. I have never been fired, nor retrenched, but I was transferred out because we lost an account. I still had a job waiting for me though, so it isn’t an experience that I can even begin to compare to those people who have been hit hard by this economic crisis.

I know there are a lot more companies who have had to make bigger sacrifices – like the Intel shop that gave jobs to 5000 Filipinos who is completely closing down – but learning about this happening to Microsoft just hit a little closer to home. We deal closely with Microsoft at my line of work, you see. Hay.

I believe (R.Kelly)

Watching ASAP ’09 on Sunday, this song really caught my attention:  R. Kelly’s I believe. If I’m not mistaken, it seems to be a tribute to Obama who is being sworn in to office today. Now DanceCool is a segment in ASAP, a local Sunday noontime musical show, where they teach dance moves.  They featured a lyrical dance this week. I found the music very inspiring, and the moves were a wonderful interpretation of the message contained in this song.

Good thing YouTube is very reliable for finding videos like this. This isn’t the best quality I know, but it loads nicely, no long wait for the buffering 🙂

Happy inauguration day to US President Obama! He’s got a huge challenge ahead of him and I am sure there are those out there just waiting for his first big slip up. I hope he disappoints them.

The case of the Alabang Boys (who really aren’t boys anymore)

I’ve been telling my brother to switch channels – listening in to the Congressional Hearing is really frustrating me. It’s like watching a telenovela, so much drama!

I don’t mean to have my non-Filipino readers at a loss as to what this Alabang Boys case is all about, but I don’t want to narrate the entire story here. You can checkout some of the links from this search result:
Department of Justice officials, specifically the fiscals/state prosecutors, are taking heat for releasing a Resolution just before Christmas, which was in effect dismissing the case. As it appears in the hearing, the tone and language of the resolution was as if it was taking as fact, and siding with, the position of their respondents. In fact, the resolution looks like a case agains the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Err?
There a number of irregularities with this case, and I am in no mind to list them all. But had I been sitting in that hearing, here are some questions I would have asked:
  • Since Atty. Verano (representing the respondents) claims that he had no prior discussion with Usec. Blancaflor regarding the case, why did he have the Order sent through his office? He had his office messenger bring the document to Blancaflor’s office, why not just messenger it straight to the office of the Department Secretary?
  • Claiming that he did not want anything to do with the document, why did Blancaflor allow his secretary to take the document to the office of the Secretary of Justice? Would it not be construed that he is endorsing the document? Shouldn’t he have just outrightly refused to do anything in behalf of his fraternity brother?
  • Why did the office of the chief state prosecutor release the resolution to the public, without clearing it with the DOJ secretary, given that they have a memo circular mandating a review of all cases of this nature that are for dismissal?
  • In Fiscal Rasado’s case, why didn’t he inhibit himself from reviewing the case, when he already knew that the defense lawyer was his law school professor? He is in charge of looking into the merits of the case and recommend it for filing, or for dismissal. At that stage in the case, he was like a judge who must assume impartiality. Although if I was in his place, I wouldn’t personally be affected if my college professors were part of a case where I need to make an important discernment, I would think it would still be the better thing to do, in the interest of fairness to both parties, to request that the case be assigned to a different fiscal. KWIM?
  • Shouldn’t be the DOJ be working in partnership with the PDEA? Shouldn’t they be actually helping PDEA build solid, air-tight cases about drug pushers/traffickers? They should be represented in the PDEA team! It appears that they have no measures for coordination here. PDEA does its job, and then DOJ may or may not let the case reach the courts? How does that help the campaign against drugs?

This post reposted from my blogger blog.

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