Monday, April 30, 2007

Isang Tanong (One Question)

Usual Sunday night viewing is CSI marathon, that’s from 9-12 midnight. Most of the time though I only watch up to 11PM, CSI New York, as I am not a big fan of CSI Miami. So as I was changing channels, I came across the GMA 7 special “ISANG TANONG:The Senatorial Forum.” I wonder why I didn’t know about the forum earlier. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a teaser of it. Then again, I haven’t been watching much local TV except for the news and I flip channels when advertisements come. DVD marathon of “Prison Break” and this new series “Dexter” has been eating my TV time.

I was excited to find out that there’s a show that will try to help me know the candidates for the senatorial post. So far I only have about 6 people in my list of senators to vote for so there are still 6 more slots to fill. I haven’t done my research yet, on the background of the other candidates - I scheduled to do it this week.

SAYANG. Too bad the show couldn’t be aired earlier. I know a lot of people who are voting this May, who don’t know much about the candidates and are only voting for the ones that are “well-known” or have managed to get themselves well-known over the last few months as part of their campaign. It would have been nice for them to have listened to the answers of the candidates present but I know some of them are already asleep at that time – 11PM. Take my grandparents for instance; they are asleep by 830 or 930PM the most. Or my mom, my uncles and aunts who go to bed at around 1030PM. Papa (my maternal grandfather) is all set to vote for Cayetano, whom I totally despise(!!), because newspapers have been filled about him since late last year, “uncovering” anomalous practices of the Arroyo administration. To Papa, he’s one of our hopes to toppling down GMA. But if Papa heard how he couldn’t even directly answer the 3 questions that were thrown to him last night, I’m sure he’d think twice about voting for him. He just kept on using election campaign terms –“pahirap, para sa mahihirap, itigil/sugpuin ang corruption, ako man ay laki sa hirap.” etc. but can’t even give concrete, tangible plans. Seriously!?! Go to the rural poor communities who do not have access to clean water, to proper medical facilities, who can’t get the most basic/elementary education – that’s laki sa hirap! And “sugpuin ang corruption,” seriously, don’t even start with me on that. I was working for an anticorruption program which has been of existence for about 4 years only and I’m pretty sure they’ve done more about the issue than you have. And the leaders of the program are not even in Congress! You don’t know what you are talking about! (I told you I despise him!) Enough of that, some people who just choose to vote for underdogs might just vote for him.

Too bad not all the Senatorial Candidates were there. It would have been such entertainment to hear what Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano have to say or not have the ability to say. Hehehe. Where were the other candidates who spent millions on their TV ads, that show could have been good publicity. Or were they too afraid we’d find out they are incompetent and that their nervous eyes would sell insincerity? They shouldn’t have been really, because using Boy Abunda as their VO and using corny taglines like “Itanim sa Senado” at “Libreng Preschool” already told us there are just like actors.

Bakit ISANG TANONG lang? (Why only one question?) Some of them got lucky enough to get a good question they probably know a lot about. What about the other pertinent questions? I’ve been to job interviews and they asked a lot of questions related to the post I was applying for. They look into work experiences, character references and give situational questions and circumstances. And that’s only for posts that will handle about 30-40 people or 1 small rural community of 100 people. The Senate post is a national public post, for the entire people of our nation. I wasn’t accepted in a couple of jobs I applied for and I’d like to think that I wasn’t chosen not because I wasn’t good or that I wouldn’t be able to handle the job – I wasn’t chosen because I probably wasn’t THE BEST for that position and somebody else can do a better job. And so I don’t take it against the company (ok that’s not exactly true, I sometimes take it against them ofcourse-only human and rejection is not a very happy experience, hehehe). So goes for my standards for the leaders of our country. I truly believe my country deserves not somebody who’s just good, but someone who is THE BEST for the post!

Our country deserves more than one question to be answered. The post they are applying for is so important that it deserves a lot of questions to be answered. And not only in words, but just like in any post, we need to look into their past experiences which will make them qualified for the position; we need to look into their character and work references; we need to hear tangible/real experience based answers and tangible plans.

So here’s my “Isang Tanong” (for myself and maybe for you): Are you ready to search, research and choose the Best, most Qualified leaders for your nation using the same standard that you choose the people who work for you in your offices/businesses or in your homes? Because like I always say this is your only home, your only country and you are therefore a key instrument to either its development or its doom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

(part2) HolyWeek2007

--Tagaytay and Enchanted Kingdom- -

Friday – I can no longer count the times I’ve been to Tagaytay. I like it there, Tagaytay is cold enough and near enough to be a good place of sanctuary. We went there to meet Lolo Choy (Mama’s cousin and our youngest lolo, he’s only 4 years older than my mom) for lunch and pasyal at Highlands. But Lola Auntie insisted we see Taal Vista first, it’s the hotel she remembers in Tagaytay. She went there in the 80s to attend a conference of some sort. But since it’s 2007 already, it’s not the same Taal Vista she remembers.

It wasn’t very cold in Tagaytay the week we came, it wasn’t that windy too. But we had good lunch and a good afternoon. We couldn’t do much walking, having 3 senior citizens with us, but we had a blast at the mini-zoo taking pictures of the 3grandparents holding the birds. Mama was so scared, it was cute.

Saturday – By Friday night Ella wasn’t feeling well already, Bianca has been sick since Thursday so we actually got 2 kids sick for the Enchanted Kingdom day – the supposed to be happiest day for them. But Bianca was in a fighting mode that she was really well by Saturday AM. Ella on the other hand was just beginning her battle with fever so that wasn’t good.

EK pushed through and because we were there by 11AM, lines were non existent. In 30 minutes we were able to ride 3 rides. Not bad since my memories of EK is about 30 minute waiting time for a ride.

Bianca is a revelation, her favorite is Anchor’s Away and she rode it 6 times! – 4 of those with me, 2 with her dad. On our last ride together, she didn’t’ only insist we sit on the tipmost, she even raised her hands with me – tough kid! (mana sa ate kang!). Bianca also rode the Roller Skater (the mini roller coaster, but for kids I’m sure it’s a tough ride) so many times I stopped counting. The only ride she couldn’t muster the courage to take was Space Shuttle, but if she didn’t have fever I’m sure she’d ride that.

4D is a must for people who plan to go to EK either for the first time or if you’re coming back after a long while. It’s so worth your 40 pesos (or 80php if you’re not a ride all you can ticket holder). Actually that was the only new attraction for me in Enchanted.

The best sight in EK though was seeing my grandparents ride the mini train and the carousel. Papa even rode the horse! Fun, cute!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Holy Week 2007 (part 1)

March 31 – Picked up my relatives (composed of my Mom, my maternal grandparents, my maternal grandmother’s elder sister, my Aunt – Mommy Ton (Miton), her daughter – Bianca and my 8 year old cousin Ella) around 330PM. They’re flight was a bit delayed. Thanks to Kuya Marlon (my JVP batchmate and kababayan from Davao) my transportation problems were solved.

Manila is so different already, that in the eyes of my grandparents. Flyovers didn’t exist yet the last time they were here. Well, my grandfather came here in the early 90s but he went straight to Pangasinan to attend a wedding he can’t remember Manila so much. Huge malls and buildings abound the metro, Manila wasn’t like that before. Mama (maternal grandmother) pointed to a some huge buildings along EDSA and asked – “Yan ba yung condo nak?” And I answered some of them, some are offices. I pointed her to a building along EDSA which is a condo where PDA winner YENG lives (my family are huge Kapamilyas!) and Mama can’t imagine why people would want to live in a condo. She kept asking if my ate’s condo is that tall and I assured her it wasn’t, hers looks more like a townhouse.

Palm Sunday – I was the resident cook the whole duration of my relatives’ stay here in Manila. And since my grandparents are already up at 4AM, I was kinda forced to wake up at around the same time or an hour later. The first thing they do in the morning is pray, and they pray for about 40mins so it gave me ample time to sleep. They’re early church goers as well so the scheduled Palm Sunday mass at 1030 wasn’t followed. My mom, aunt & cousins heard the anticipated mass at 730PM, I (without the need to be asked) was to accompany my grandfolks for 730AM Palm Sunday mass. Suddenly flashes of JVP morning praise came back to me.

Holy Tuesday and Wednesday - Tuesday was BULACAN day, where a lot of Mama’s relatives reside. Literally, a hot day the van’s aircon barely worked. It didn’t help that I was seated at the back most to accommodate some of our other relatives who reside here in Manila and were to join us in Bulacan. Incidentally, Papa’s (paternal grandfather) younger sister who’s now based in California has a house in San Jose del Monte. So we went there first for Papa to see the house himself. He wanted to visit his nieces and nephews there.

Afterwards we hit Malolos to visit Mama’s older sister who’s actually showing early signs of second childhood. It was a bit of a search as we didn’t know where she was exactly, if she was with this kid of hers or in her own house. We ended up waiting for her in the house of her daughter who was actually my “tita-yaya” when I was a baby. She gave me my nickname. She was studying in Davao when I was born and she would take care of me while she does her assignment. Very “Maalala Mo Kaya” story if you ask me. I’ve only seen her in pictures until last Tuesday so that was nice.

Anyway, my Lola Dely (the one we were waiting for) truly wasn’t in the mood that we almost left without seeing her. My grandmothers were already on the way to the van and decided that if in 30 minutes she still doesn’t come (Lola Dely was coming from a nearby house, a padyak away) we would go home. It didn’t matter if they didn’t see her but they won’t budge and give in to her request for us to go to her. Afterall her elder sister was with us (Lola Auntie- that’s what we call Mama’s elder sister) and if she does respect her ate, she’d know better and go to her. And she did. And it was like a scene out of a tele-novela as tears were exchanged, etc.etc. Miton and mom were teasing that it felt like a movie was being shot as people were staring at us and I was holding my SLR camera stealing pictures. It was indeed a “family moment” and a bit funny too.

WEDNESDAY was lighter. We scheduled a mini-reunion with Papa’s relatives this time, just in Project 8 in the house of one of his nieces. It was actually so near my dad’s house. I pitied Papa a bit as he caught colds and coughs from the Bulacan trip so he wasn’t really feeling well. It was the heat I guess and the bad air here in Manila. We got to Tita Amy’s (daughter of Papa’s younger sister) house around 340PM, earlier than the scheduled 4PM Merienda-Reunion but it’s ok because atleast Lola Tisit (Papa’s younger sister) was already there. We were already beginning to eat our Spaghetti when Lolo Pitis and Lola Eto arrived. It was an amazing experience. Miton, Mama and Papa were running toward them and so were them toward us. Tears of joy were exchanged and we were mere spectators of the great event. Mama didn’t cry seeing Lola Dely but she cried seeing Papa’s brother and sisters.

It was a light, fun afternoon. I didn’t know I had an aunt in WWF until last Holy Wednesday. And Tita Cora has been in a couple of NGOs before WWF too. So my NGO/Social Development leaning can’t just be attributed to Jesuit Education, it actually runs in the blood. And I ought to visit Pangasinan soon, Lolo Pitis resides there together with his wife Lola Connie and 3 labradors. I haven’t really been there except the number of times we passed by on the way to Baguio.


I admit, I’m Papa’s girl and his favorite (I’m Karen, the paboritong apo in the McDo commercial around 6 years ago), but I know the reunion with his family is sweeter. Because atleast with mama, lola auntie is also in Davao so she has a sibling with her, Papa doesn’t.