Monday, April 27, 2009

Cesar Montano: Future Governor of Bohol?

If there is one question that I could ask to the so-called Boholano actor and director, Cesar Montano, it could be: “Where have you been?”

Years ago, Bohol can be traced back as a very silent fourth class province in Central Philippines boosting its very own Alturas Supermarket and Bohol Quality Department Store which can only be compared to those big convenient stores in the capital back then. It’s not even recognized as one of the provinces of the Philippines before – far from its neighbor Cebu. Back then, Cesar Montano could never be heard in television as son of Bohol.

Years have passed and Bohol became a well-known tourist destination in the Philippines bagging the title “No. 1 Tourist Destination in the Philippines.” The name Bohol started to resound in the air waves and development started to visit the province. Bohol has tremendously marched from being a fourth class province to a first class island-province boosting its magnificent tourist attractions which have been developed. Bohol Quality Department Store became BQ Mall and Alturas Supermarket branched out which eventually led to the establishment of Island City Mall and brought the national consumer icons like Jollibee, KFC, Chowking, National Bookstore, Bench, Kamiseta, Ideal Vision and many others. And together with Jollibee and others, there came Cesar Montano who conceitedly introduced himself as SON OF BOHOL.

And now, rumors have it all that after failing in the senatorial race, Cesar Montano would be trying his luck in the gubernatorial battle in Bohol. As what any trapo politician would do just to win the hearts of the voters, Montano has repeatedly pronounced his love for Bohol and his desire to serve the Boholanos. But my ultimate question is: “Where has he been?” Where was he in those times when he was shining in the showbiz industry and Bohol was only a piece of raisin stuffed in a huge bread? Cesar could be one of those resurrected Boholanos – those who hopelessly left Bohol before and came back when they learned that Bohol is now spotted in the Philippine map.

Boholanos, it’s all up to us!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Corruption at Clark Air Base?

A friend and a classmate of mine in the graduate school has just came back from a one-week vacation in the Philippines to attend her sister's wedding. This afternoon, I was able to chat with her after she took the examination which she was not able to take last Saturday becauase she had her flight going to Philippines earlier.

A Filipina, she has with her in her check-in luggage a bunch of pasalubong for her friends here in Thailand. She also had some Filipino goods specially taken for those who have been missing some Filipino products. When she checked in at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga, two immigration officials were looking at each other. One of them asked her, "Ano ba ang mga laman niyang bagahe mo?" She answered, "Mga pasalubong lang po iyan ma'am." Well, what the hell is happening in the world? Why are those officers were asking what's inside her check-in luggage? What's the use of x-ray? The worst, why do they have to ask my friend to open her check-in luggage? hmmm... these officers must have some hidden motive. That was so obvious.

As far as the law that I knew is concerned, check-in luggage should not be opened unless something suspicious is found in the x-ray. When my friend opened her luggage, those officers told her, "Uy, bawal ang mga iyan!" Bagoong, bench body spray, suka, alcohol at iba pang liquid lang naman ang nandoon and another thing, they were placed in the check-in luggage! The poor officers asked her, "May kasama ka ba?" When my friend said YES, hindi na napigilan ng mga MOKONG at sinabi na talaga, "Amin na lang iyang isa." (pointing the bench body spray)

What I know is liquids are prohibited in carry-on baggage and so passengers are advised to place them in their check-in luggage! hmmm... sabi ko na nga ba, something wrong must have been corrupting their minds... A very kind friend of mine called her companion and gave all those liquids to him and gave the bench body spray to that greedy officer!

We know that lots of tyourists are landing in the Clark Air Base. Is this the kind of practice that we would like to show to the world? Clark Air Base is an international airport! What have we been doing? It's a SHAME! We are expecting these public servants to serve the entire public! Binabayaran na sila ng taong bayan, niloloko pa nila? HUH! Sana sumaya sila!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Making it through

My usual weekend journey from my pad to the college where I am having my masteral has finally called it a day as I finished all my subjects. Unknowingly, I have hurdled the six-hour class every Saturday and Sunday and even during holidays to complete nine modules with their corresponding courseworks.

I thought that I could schedule my sleeping hours back to the normal but I just noticed that I still have to face an even tougher requirement to finally complete my master's degree. After the approval of my thesis title, I had to rummage around for more studies and literatures that would support my study on "Total Quality Management (TQM) in English Program of Basic Education Institutions in Thailand." It has been causing me a lot of hardwork but I have been learning a lot from it. Honestly, my knowledge has been refreshed when I looked over the handouts of my previous courses in order to search for ideas that would help me in gaining better understanding of the concepts in my study.

Lately, I have been spending much of my free time at Assumption University Library and Chulalongkorn University Library hunting for those "rare" literatures supporting TQM in education and language education in Thailand. Sometimes, I have to pray that I could find free resources from the internet so I could go on with my research without spending much of my time going to those libraries in the traffic-jam-stricken areas of Bangkok. My graduate study has really caused me a lot of money, time and effort that sometimes I am tempted to ask myself, "Phil, why do you have to do all these things?" Yes, I have been receiving above-average compensation from my present job.

There are times when I think of giving up so I could use my own earnings in helping my family back in the Philippines and give myself a time for relaxation but I don't know why I just couldn't do them. Something motivates me deep inside that I want to finish this endeavor which has been a part of my dreams. Perhaps, it's the fact that I have been learning much from this and that one day, I could share what I have learned to others. Right now, I could not think of future gratifications but what I could surely think is that I am already gratified knowing that I have been starting to achieve a part of my dream. If I never enrolled for this program, I could have spent my salary in so many things that one day I would never know how it gone. At least, with this simple investment, I know that I made something worthwhile out of my toil.

My present challenge is that, "If I have made all nine modules in a while, there's no reason that I couldn't make my thesis." The encouragements and accolades of the panelists and my adviser on my study and my family's conviction of my ability are more than enough to fuel my enthusiasm and ignite my belief that I could make it until the end. I thank to those people who continuously believe in me and my ability like TQM's belief to continuous improvement. You have been my inspiration. For you and for those who would be benifited by my study, I would stand through with a good fight.

So I may be guided through my journey, I have to blog my MY TARGET DATES:
May 9, 2009 - proposal defense (schedule to be confirmed with the research committee)
May 17, 2009 to June 21, 2009 - conduct the study (according to the availability of expert panel members)
June 28, 2009 - finalization of findings
July 11, 2009 - internal defense (schedule to be confirmed with the research committee)
August 9, 2009 - external defense (schedule to be confirmed with the research committee)
September - submission of final manuscript to the college/journal publication/international conference presentation
September onwards - series of workshops and presentations related to the thesis (for personal mastery and knowledge dissemenation)

" I am the engine of my dreams. My dreams never give up on me and I never give up on them."
- Roy Davis

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where is the PAO?

The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has once again shown the dark side of the Philippine justice system when PAO chief Persida Acosta has extended her immediate help over the resolution of the death of Ted Failon's wife. I don't know what Acosta was thinking when she extended such help to Ted Failon. I guess, she was thinking that when the case subsides, she will become popular as Ted Failon would start mentioning her name on air during his program in DZMM.

Why did I react on such news? As far as my knowledge would set me right, PAO is established in order to help those people who could not afford to pay for an attorney when seeking for justice. We know justice system in the Philippines, aside from being so slow, is very expensive that the poor Juan dela Cruz would prefer to sit down and let go his horrible past without even tasting a bit of justice. PAO is there but how dependable is PAO? Could this department really help those helpless people or its just another government propaganda trying to choke the voiceless mass in the realm of politically-ill legislators?

There have been so many killings happened in almost every corner of the Philippines wherein justice is apparently ingnored. There have been so many helpless women who were victims of rape by high-ranking officials in the country. I know plenty of individuals who have appealed to PAO for assistance but to their dismay, they get nothing but discouragement. They have been repeatedly discouraged saying that due process is time-consuming and expensive. Instead of being helped, indigent litigants who are oftentimes ignorant of the law and its proceedings became intimidated and decided not to file the case or worse, call off the case. Up-to-date, many cases in Hacienda Luisita still remain to be mystery and justice has never been served to those who deserve it.

And now, Pao's chief Persida Acosta is extending her help to Ted Failon? Is Ted Failon a serious victim of the global recession that from being a congressman and broadcaster he turned indigent? If it's true, then I could hardly bear the effect of the global economic downturn to the Philippine economy. If Ted Failon turned indigent, then saying that indigents turned into ashes is not an exaggeration.

When ordered by the DOJ chief justice to steer herself from the case, she was even proud to defend that she's just extending temporary assistance and that PAO though under DOJ is still an independent agency. Now I know that Acosta needs to review the mandates of PAO. If Acosta has heart for service then she has to show that she is dedicated in her service as chief of PAO and not just defend this big-time indigent Ted Failon. That's the problem in the Philippines - we are fond of exercising favoritism to those who are in the position. I do not know if PAO could still defend the indigent Filipino people right now. Anyway, if PAO doesn't, PAU does... Pau d Arco na lang ang katapat sa mga sakit natin because of the injustices among the poors which have never been resolved by PAO.


The recent article by Chip Tsao has earned negative criticisms from Filipinos around the world. Tsao's "irresponsible journalism" is, accordingly, a blatant evidence of racial discrimination against the Filipinos.

Ever since, we all know that Filipinos are discriminated around the world but we should also know that not only Filipinos are suffering from such kind of maltreatment. There are other nationals who have experienced an even worse kind of discrimination than what the Filipinos have experienced. But why is it that most of the Filipinos tend to easily fight back those accusations? Honestly, I was late to read the article of Chip Tsao and when I read it, plenty of comments and criticisms against Chip Tsao and the Chinese community have been thrown by the Filipinos. Well, we could not blame the Filipinos because a snake once stepped would always bite.

Filipinos, as we felt bad about the negative commentaries brought by other nationals against us, haven't we realized how others felt when we subversively badmouthed and criticised others? Senator Gordon once commented that what happened in Thailand (the seizure of Suvarnabhumi Airport and the Parliament House) was due to the immaturity of Thai politics. If the senate and the house of representatives should have been criticised of being like little children in their playground fighting one another (which is very true), I am very sure that they would immediately demand for apology. That's it, we're good at pointing other people's mistakes but once our weakness is touched, we immediately demand for apology.

Many Filipinos would react when labeled as maids and country of servants but do we feel the same when we label other cultures with indecent words? We react when we hear other nationals say that the Filipino English is another variety of bad and unacceptable English but we do not even realize how we make fun of the Englishes in the world and even the local Englishes in the Philippines. It's not bad to make fun of something as long as we do not feel bad when somebody makes fun of us. Life is always give and take... and most of the times, we take what we have given. As the golden rule says, "Do unto others what you want others do unto you." so let's not feel bad if we all mean fun.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CAUGHT in the middle

I was at MBK mall last Thursday when the red shirt started to invade Thailand's capital by jeopardizing the traffic in the most visited places in Bangkok. I was really clueless that people around started to talk about the coming crisis in the capital while I was hunting for great buys at MBK. Good that I noticed the huge crowd who were watching the wide screen right at the heart of the bargains. Something strange must be happening but I refused to stay away from the place for I did not hear any alarm.

Past 5 when I went out from the mall and took a van going back to my place. And then I started to feel the inconvenience. I had a 4-hour journey contrary to my usual 30-minute van trip from MBK going to my pad. It took me almost an hour to get out of Pyathai Road (which is only about 1 kilometer) because of the "REDS" who were marching towards the Victory Monument where almost all public buses and other public utility vehicles are bound.

The scene was extremely surprising and what makes it even more surprising is that I have witnessed it here when in fact, it's a usual scene in the Philippines. I should say that I am one of those Filipinos who has been punched by Dick Gordon's "huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan." I have experienced so many things in Bangkok which I never experience back in the Philippines' capital where I have never stayed. I used to be sick of those protests I have seen over the national TV in the Philippines but I did not imagine that I could ammusingly be stucked into it here in Thailand.

One of the protesters said that they are willing to sacrifice if democracy demands it. Well, they have sacrificed their own convenience but how about the others? Do they think they are not affected by what they are doing? There are so many channels by which we could express our grievances without compromising the safety and privacy of the entire public. Blog could be one of them. Let's live life!

photo from

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

BRAND NEW: A Contemporary Arts Exhibition of Young Thai Artists

I was at Chulalongkorn University's Center for Academic Resources (CU-CAR) yesterday to do further research for my master's thesis when I came over a print ad (tarpauline) of an ongoing art exhibition. Luckily, I was brought by my feet in the event location (actually, the elevator does...hehehe) and witnessed the exhibition of promising young Thai artists who showcased their arts in three different medias.

Right at the entrance of the exhibition, Bussaraporn's work on her "weird" thoughts about sex were displayed. I bet this artist is so open and so abreast about these sex things as I have seen how she portrayed both timid and wild concepts on sex. I do appreciate her artistry. I am glad to have found a sample of her work from Artgazine's website,

Entering to the next section of the exhibition, I found Duangkamol's emotion-bounded photography titled Insecure Moments. Looking at her works, I felt a very dramatic feeling of pity to those insecure people. Insecurity, indeed, leads to downfall. We have to be thankful with life's simple gifts.

Duangkamol's artistry is so evident in her work. I guess she knows what she wanted and she was able to portray the concepts in her mind. Her work communicates her thoughts (that's if I am not wrong with what I am thinking). From Artgazine's website again, here's one of the photos I found at the exhibition.

The las artwork which was a videoart was something interesting and new to me but I did not stay too long for that video because I had some things to do. Spending about 2 minutes with those funny and reality-based videos were enough to understand arts in video. I do have to explore more about video arts -- it is interesting.

For those interested, the exhibition is still going on at the 6th floor of CU-CAR in Pyathai Road. I have learned also that Bangkok Art Map (BAM!) is organizing another art exhibition around Bangkok. So artists and arts enthusiasts out there, let's invade Bangkok. Me, I am planning to explore the richness of Bangkok Arts after I finish my thesis and I will do that be hopping from one museum to another. Wanna explore Thai arts with me? :D

Friday, April 3, 2009


Philippines, being an archipelago composed of 7, 107 islands, is a country that celebrates cultural diversity as its pride and identity as a sovereign nation. One of the unique cultural features of the country is its wide variety of dialects which further differ in accent from one place to another. Such linguistic feature adds to the richness of culture of the archipelago.

Cebuano is one of the dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos especially in the Visayas group of islands and in some parts of Mindanao region. The dialect varies in accent, intonation and pronunciation as used in the different parts of the archipelago. Some parts in Southern Luzon also speak the dialect with distinct variation.  Visayas with Cebuano as the widely spoken dialect has a very rich set of lexis and literature which range from prose to poetry. The Visayan people with their rich and unique literary heritage has great contribution in the Philippine literature with their lovely and infamous songs, poems, short stories and other forms of literature.


In the annotation of the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal of Dr. Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas which narrates the Filipino civilization before the coming of the Spaniards the indications of early Filipino civilization were exposed as opposed to the Spaniard's claim that Filipinos were uncivilized people before they came. Some of them were the early Filipino-Chinese trade, the early written laws of the Philippines, its early forms of government and literature.

In that annotation, it was mentioned that Filipinos had their own distinct literature even before the coming of the Spaniards. The first known Filipino poet was Karyapa who happened to be from the Visayas and so a Bisaya. Aside from that, the Bisayas have lots of poets and writers who can be proud of. Cebuano, the dialect spoken by most of the natives in the area, could be a very figurative language if you would only try to explore. And so, in this section of my blog, I would like you to experience the beauty of Visayan literature through some of my Visayan poems and articles.

Sa dihang ako gipakatawo niining maong kalibutan,
Wala ko damha nga sa kalit ikaw akong makaplagan!
Diha sa nagdagitom nga panganod ug sa baybayon nga masuk-anon
Imo akong gihapuhap ug sa matag takilid sa kalibutan ikaw anaa kanako mitapion.

Tungod kanimo nahimong mabulokon ang mga bulak nga dugay nang nawad-an sa ilang kaanyag,
Ang imong mga pahiyom mihatod ug dakong kahimuot sa akong kalag,
Mikanaog ang mga bituon ug sa akong mga lakang milamdag;
Unya mikuyanap ang siga sa adlaw nga dugay na'ng wala makasinati ug buntag…

Sa imong pag-abot kalit natapakan ang haw-ang sa akong dughan,
Ug sa wala damha, kalit naaalim ang samad nga dugay nang gihambin niining balatian…
Gihatagan mo ug paglaom ang dughan ko nga sa gugma nawad-an
Alang kanako, ikaw ang tanan…

Chiks tirada!…
Ug imong pasultihon olitawo pa,
Apan hala ukaya di ba kay lima na ang asawa.
Gihikling lang ang kamatuoran aron hatagan ug katagbawan ang kaulagan.

Chiks tirada!…
Basta chiks hala bira…
Bahalag mabuslot ang bulsa basta lang makatira
Sa chiks magpatisoy bisan ug pusoy.

Chiks tirada!…
Bahalag mapusgay ang alkansiya ni nanay
Basta kay sa chiks makalipay…
Kwartahan kunohay pero nanguot lang sa bulsa ni tatay

Chiksa tirada!...
Maayo modala ug istorya
Bisan ug bakak makatoo ka
Istoryang walay unod moahat na lang ug katinood

Mao nga tambag lang kanimo Inday
Sa chiks tirada ayaw gyud pagpalumay
Kay ang ilang mga istorya maayu lang sa kiay
Apan diay, kanimo maghatag lang ug dakong pagmahay.

Wala ko pagadamha nga ikaw moabot sa akong kiliran.
Arom mohapuhap ug mo alim sa samaran ko nga dughan.
Imong giwakli ang nag dagitum nga panganud sa akong panumdoman,
Nga kanunayng naga babag sa dalan nga akong gi lakwan.

Gikalipay ko man ang imong paghiabot
Apan mas subo ang imong paghikalimot
Nagtoo ako nga ang kalipay ko dili na matapos
Apan sa usa mo lang ka kidhat imong gipakyas kining pagbating nag uros- uros.

Abi ko ba ug ikaw nagpakatakus sa imong mga saad!
Nga ako imong unungan sa kasakit ug himaya.
Apan diay usa ikaw ka bakakon!
Imong gi samaran ang dughan niining bol-anong mapinanggaon.

Sa imong pagbiya, imong gihikaw kanako ang tanan!
Kay sa imong paglakaw imong gidala ang adlaw ug ang bulan.
Nawad-an sa kahayag ang nag kilum-kilum kong balatian.
Karon ako ania niining ngitngit nga suok ug nag bangutan,

Karong panahona uso na ang hubag,
Dili nang hubag nga mo tubo, mo buto.
Kun dili kining hubag nga walay buthanan
Hubag nga galakaw ug wala mag pundo

Kung gusto ka makakita naay daghan sa kanto.
Hubag ba nga murag si Ara Mina,
Hamis, lumoy, puwa-puwa apil paa
Bus-ok apan insakto sa pamayhon
Nagadani sa mga matang maibugon.

Kung makakita ka ug hubag kalma lang bay!
Ayaw ka diretso ug pabuhagay...
Kung dili makaya, piyunga ang mata
Ug dili mada hala duola, ila-ilaha
Apan ang aping sa laparo andama.

Hinay-hinay lang sa duha ka klase sa hubag.
Kay adunay hubag nga lumoy ug aduna sa'y luag-luag
Luag-luag buot ipasabot nangunot na.
Maghinay ka kay basin ka napulo na na tudlisa
Mibalik lang paghubag kay wa ma tudlis ang mata.

NOTE: I have created a special page in my blog which is devoted for the promotion of the Visayan literature most especially Cebuano and Boholano. I hope you would take time to visit the page and share some of your thoughts or even some your works written in the dialect.

If I could only speak...

If I could only speak…
I would exchange a few words with you,
I would let you know how I was to you and you are to me;
But I couldn’t open my mouth
Because I know that my words would only hurt both of us.

If I could only speak…
I would request you to stay
But I am so dumb and helpless
Like a rug right on your door
I couldn’t say that I am hurt because I am happy that you’re using me

If I could only speak…
I would ask you to come back
But I know that you will always need me
You will just realize how useful I am when you’re far from me
I know in my heart that you will be with me one day

You used me and now you’re leaving
You are leaving like I was nothing to you
You are leaving as if I have caused great pain in your heart
You are leaving now and you’re leaving me pain
But I want you to know that I am only here
Waiting for you… holding myself… because you will need me…

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I am a person who really admires quotations. They might just be simple expressions but they cause great impacts in our lives. Every situation that we face in life whether it's happy, sad or the other way around has a corresponding quotation that in one way or another will rekindle our inner spirit and will remind us that life, after all, is worth living.

HERE ARE SOME OF THEM... I hope these quotes would also rekindle your inner spirits.

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light."
--Albert Schweitzer

"Everyone has the power of greatness; not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by service."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King

"We must be the change we want to see in the world."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present... we experience heaven on earth."
-- Sarah Breathnatch

"You only have to do a very few things right in your life -- so long as you don't do too many things wrong."
-- Warren Buffett

"The only safe thing is to take a chance."
-- Mike Nichols and Elaine May

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
-- Mother Teresa

"The time is always right to do what is right."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
-- Nelson Mandela

"The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart."
-- Helen Keller

"Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
-- Henry Ford

FaciNG THE FiGhT in s0LiTuDe

Now I am here... all alone... negative emotions are starting to eat the innermost of my soul. I want to fight back and tell him how strong I am because I have somebody to lean on. But then I soon realized that I have nobody but myself. I AM ALL ALONE!

Can I have a good fight even if I know that I'll be a solitary soldier? I have to be confident and do a good fight all by myself. I am STRONG! I will never let this negative emotion kill the best of myself for I know that I could not bring back this very moment where I could have a chance of winning a victorious prize with my infamous wits and spirits.

Yes, everything is starting to give up. I could see the leaves starting to fall, I could see the sun starting to set, I could see the clouds starting to rain, I could see them... not far from where I am standing. I could not hold them back, I could not tell them to stop. THEY WILL DO AS THEY ARE OUGHT TO DO THOSE THINGS! They are unstoppable that's why I don't want to stop them!

Pondering on, I know that everything that I could do is to draw the positive spirit within me and expect that after those leaves fall, new leaves full of enthusiasm would sprout. Likewise, I have to face the sunset for I could never enjoy the sunrise without it. I have to allow the rain to satisfy my thirst and be ready for a brighter day and a bluer sky. I will never face greatness without facing my weaknesses. I have to fight! I should not let this emotion steal the very essence of existence. After all, GOD will never leave me in times that I feel so alone and helpless. HE is my strength and my REFUGE -- more than my friends, more than my family, more than anyone else. Although I haven't seen HIM, I know he's just around watching every move that I make. I KNOW THAT THE WEEK WILL NOT END WITHOUT SEEING ME AND ALL THE PEOPLE AROUND ME HAPPY.