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Friday, October 10, 2008

If I Were A Customer Service Representative

Not that I am sour-graping because I failed in the "reading" examination given by Teleperformance ages ago... but that I am so mean to CSRs, I regret each time I was forced to. So, to balance matters, I also do some reflective thinking and wonder:

How would I say the following if I were a CSR and had to handle a person like me:
* I don't use this brand. I am only trying to answer complaints in a nice way.
* Use the competitor brand.
* Stop bickering, it was your fault.
* You've been had big time.
* Did you read it was "made in China"?
* Fuck you!

If I had been hired, I'd probably speak fiction:

Ma'am, that model was pulled out of the shelves a few months back. (It's really defective.)
Sir, you must have a very charming smile... (I have no answer).
I am glad to inform you that our company already agreed to pull out of Beijing because of your complaint (Throw it, it's useless).
Our research department will go through your case right now and we will get back to you as soon as you can call again (Get lucky).
I have only been using this product as a Chrsitmas give-away (I'm not as dumb as you to buy this one).
I just dispatched our emergency team to attend to your request (Cut it off!)

Fortunately, I am not a customer service representative.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


In one of my YahooGroups, a recent email / post message was:

hi all,
i found six young kittens by the road the other day, and their eyes and ears are still closed so i couldn't just leave them out near the garbage.
i've kittens of my own, and could not take them in anymore. if someone could please adopt them until they start eating solids.
most shelters like PAWS would take them in as long as they can eat solids already.
please help. they're really cute and seem healthy enough (they got really powerful lungs on them). there are
home-made kitten formulas from the net, so no need to buy the expensive ones. they just need to be fed as often as possible, and be tidied up if they do their business.
if someone could adopt them in 2s or 3s, it would be much appreciated.
best if pick-up is done in san juan because i can't bring them to the office for meet-ups.
for interested parties, please reply to my personal mail so we could coordinate.
thanks much!
One (or the only) reply went:

If there are no takers you might consider taking them to Luneta Park in Manila. The homeless there consume cat meat for food.
Then, chaos followed, many of which protested the reply was uncalled for. Old that I was, I remained a distant spectator, waiting for sense and sensibility (AW! )

Then, the underdog retorted:
We are into recycling garbage, right? Let us be clear about our goals and priorities here. By Ms. ___'s own account, the circumstances behind the misfortune of the six unwanted animals point to one single fact - they were garbage. As such, we recycle them. Sorry but I could not think of a better way to do it other than to use them to feed people who are in dire need of protein-rich sustenance. It's like hitting two birds with one stone - recycling and feeding the hungry.

And to the genius who called me an idiot, I'm sure you share Ms. ___ "garbage" mentality, treating unwashed and unwanted living things "by the roadside" as trash.

The "basureros" (garbage collectors) and the "patay-gutoms" (now, this is challenge--- dying of hunger? lol) should avoid crossing your path lest you might think of "recycling" them, robbing them the modicum of dignity to live and die like the rest of us.

It was some kind of an amusement for a nasty elder like me...

But if I were to rant and side anybody, I prefer the latter, making use of kittens to pacify some grumbling stomachs. What's the difference between a kitten and chicks (one day old, anyone?) anyway? There were arguments like "making this world a better place for "living and the non-living" and all that.

But I guess, civil society has gone so far as misplaced its priorities. Balance is side swept with "niceties" that just don't make sense.

How about "...if someone could please shoulder this child's education until such time he can can compete living in this civil world?"

How about "'s only about $7 a month to make this vagabond kid stay at school and away from trouble... and you don't need an internet to help..."

We have a lot choices, that is probably the problem... but we all should pause sometimes, and care a little. It won't cost us much and you won't even notice...

Against indifference, I quote Dante:

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality. - ~ Dante Alighieri

Thursday, September 4, 2008

F Sionil Jose Walked Out of L Kasilag's Necro

I got this forwarded from Elmer Gatchalian, a Palance awardee:

Why Sionil Jose walked out of the CCP during King's necrology.

Why would National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose walk out of the CCP during its tribute to the late National Artist for Music Lucrecia Kasilag whom he dearly loved and respected?

This letter written by Jose last Aug. 22 and send to Emely Abrera,
chairperson of the CCP (cc: Nestor Jardin, President and Chris Millado, Performing Arts Department Head)

Permit me to tell you my regret and anger the day when I was at the CCP for King Kasilag's necrology. Before the start of the service, I was ushered to the backstage- a departure from the usual manner by which we honored our departed National Artist. After I offered my bouquet to King, I walked to my assigned seat and was surprised to see Imelda Marcos before me. Had I known that she would be there, I would not have attended the necrology anymore. But in deference to King, who I loved dearly, I decided to suffer my presence. Then she mounted the podium and started bragging about herself, how Chairman Mao welcomed her in China. That was too much, so I decided to leave.

I have known King since 1948, when she was the piano teacher of the girl I married. I regret that I had to leave her last presence with us.

Enclosed is the article I wrote years ago on Imelda (for Philippine Star). I hope that you will remember. May I beg of you this one I favor. In the future, please do not honor Imelda in any of the CCP activities. In ostracizing her and denying her honor, you honor the memory of Ninoy Aquino and the thousands upon thousands who were unjustly jailed, tortured, killed or salvaged by the Marcos dictatorship.

In honoring the plunderers of this nation and letting them easy without any punishment (like Erap) we not only condone their infamy; other rapist of this nation will also feel redeemed, convinced, that they did no wrong. Then, they pave the way for future criminals to do the same, sure that, like Imelda and her gang, they will no be punished and that after their foul deeds, they can even preen in the limelight before a people without memory.

The Marcoses were in power for more than 20 years... they gave patronage with the people's money to many. There recipients, of their patronage are grateful. I can very well understand that, but keep in mind that the evil that they did far outweighs the miniscule good that they achieved, the CCP is one and the appointment of King is another.

The CCP and King helped deodorize a little a murderous dictatorship. And don't you ever forget, it was your money, my money, OUR money that built the CCP - not Imelda's.

Sincerely yours,
F. Sionil Jose

The Philippine Star
August 31, 2008 edition
Sunday Lifestyle, Page H-1

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Banco de Oro

In December 2007, Banco de Oro had a hostile takeover on Equitable-PCI Bank. Previously, the bank was just that - PCI Bank, one of the better and more reliable commercial banks in the Philippines at par with BPI and Metrobank. It was still reeling from the Equitable merger at that time, but PCI was as graceful as the lady who defied a president in the only big fish corruption case ever resolved in this country.

There are a lot of lapses in the service of BDO since then. Among them are the following:
- ATM branches are always offline from morning 'til the next banking day
- One cannot withdraw over-the-counter inter-branch. One BDO manager at Urdaneta City Manolito Novida tried in vain to fool me it was not true by calling his counterpart in Del Monte-West Avenue and discuss that such was such.
- Some of their ATM features such as "money transfer" was a joke, a posse, a fraud, as one of the West Ave-Del Monte branch clerk confirmed with me when I inquired some couple of months ago. I was transferring my account from Carmen to that branch and inquired about its money transfer feature as it would do me no good if I made a little mistake considering my almost idiotic disability with numbers...but the clerk said it was only placed there without really any function.
I told the clerk it was quite strange as BPI's money transfer has been working more than a decade back.
- And now, the most recent discovery I found is their online blah. Just yesterday, I had a credit card approved with them, but in order to use it online, I need to register online. The site is problematic. So, as much as I never want to talk to a customer service representative over the phone again as long as I live, I was left without a choice, as I told Angel the CSR I talked with at 631-8000. She told me to apply with the nearest branch. There, I found out one could apply for Internet Banking, Phonebanking, etc. But it seems it will end only with the form. The teller / clerk / staff at BDO West Ave-Del Monte branch told me their site is working. She even had the nerve to ask me where I access the net (at home or in the office?). I was tempted to say via internet cafe. But then again, sarcasm does not apply with ignorance. I told the truth that even my mobile phone won't left me alone offline with the features of yahoo chat. Poor me. Because even dial-up connection today is far more efficient than a million-dollar deal with ZTE. As long as it's not peak season, else, one is reminded of the old EDSA traffic prior to its massive rape and deconstruction.
In short, BDO people in case you'd ever come upon this blog, I hope I don't need to spell it out that your services suck. But I already did, so, thank me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Codename: Asero Tips from the Kamikaze Warrior

I didn't mind television thrash so much, except for some witty ads like that Bioessence or something shampoo commercial of un-photoshopped man and his hair.

And the Robin Padilla/Angel Locsin tandem Asian Treasures has become forgivable because of this initial mediocrity.

It's not the celebrity talents. There are simply a lot of misguided elements lifted or taken from a lot of spy movies (or tv series--- The A Team --- to be specific) as well as characterization that makes it sablay to the ultimatum.

Of course I am exaggerating. Neither am I an expert on espionage, but I was a spy-kamikaze in my other life, so, I am not here to argue. Just an assassin out to liquidate whatever comes my way on the Asero blah.

The opening. The establishing into using disierto and Arabs is downright stupid and discriminatory. A preview of those made-in-China scorpion toys. Spies NEVER stand out wherever they are. They blend with the sand in the desert, even assuming poisonous arachnids or camels if need be. Get producers?

Sure we've had loads of Hollywood terrorist movies predicting 9-1-1 and even the impending US vs. Iran war (which even obscenely high paid Homeland Security - US of course - observers base their analysis) involving as always our Muslim brothers, but people, we're never really sure who's behind these paid suicide bombers, or if Osama bin Laden is actually an Arab. Because back here in the Philippines, fellow writers, we also have suicide assassins who will kill vocal journalists for only five thousand pesos (yeah, that cheap you need not go far for character).

Then, that tube. We've seen that elsewhere, bummer. It was in a Jacky Chan movie.

Even Janno Gibbs who's a natural dork has become uncomfortable in his role I can't believe I'd see a trace of embarrassment on his face when finally joined by Grecko (Richard Gutierrez' character) in that intro.

Then Bitoy. We all like Bitoy. But not this time. Is he being depicted as a cross between the oldie in Back to the Future and a modern-day IT geek?

He should have been better packaged as the clean-cut, goggles-wearing, old, plain, real-life Beethoven Bunagan. Because formerly, we had inventors and scientists who hermit themselves in their laboratories, while our present-day ITs splurge on the wonders that technology brings them, including food, vanity sets, and all the materialism they could put their fingers into (even just by hacking).

What I am trying to say is that production involves research and espionage is about blending and never having to be obvious. The first episode blasted of "glaringly obvious" if there ever was a phrase. It was simply a crime.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Customer Service

Customer Service, in its early inception was a brilliant offshoot of TQM with customer satisfaction as the goal. This makes prices of products and services go a notch higher than the usual. Then, customer satisfaction has evolved to after-sales services that have the poor consumer bombarded with unsolicited letters, calls and emails asking, probing, and forcing them to go and waste more money about their products. Through this line, CSR or customer service representatives were created. They run the gamut of sales representatives to technical experts that tells you where the letter "Q" in your keyboard is and that you need to plug in an electrical outlet a gadget before its "on" button lights up, or anything to that effect... and yeah, the spammers... they are also called CSR.

Owing to its acceptance and popularity, this customer service line has created a whole new spectrum of service and poured in billions of dollars in low-labor-cost, English-speaking third world countries like India and the Philippines. In fact, an agent is screened by having her or him say a couple of lines in English. If you happen to pronounce the words correctly, you're hired and would start to get paid with about $235 monthly. Provincial rates are lower, though, if they ever get paid regularly at all. So, in reality, it does not really matter if the dork hired was a dean's lister or a dumb pa-sosi (social climber in Philippine lingo) as long as the words were pronounced properly, or convincingly.

In the Philippines, job turn-over is fast in call centers as these CSRs burn out. It is because half of customers calling were either totally innocent about the product or service they have bought, or too smart to accept they have been duped. Both kind of customers could take the sanity away from the CSR in a matter of minutes. But behind those perfect-sounding English, the customer gets:
- wrong answer (99% of the time based on personal experience)
- imperfect grammar, if ever discernible at all.
- scripted message
- scripted message repeated again and again until the customer gets the hint and slams the phone to smithereens
- a nervous wreck (both ends - the CSR and the customer)
- a relay message "Yes ma'am/sir I will inform the people concerned about this."
- a message informing the customer to visit the nearest CSR in the area (after being told to call the CSR hotline)
- worsened headache
- madness.

So, if one studies closely the chain, there only is an added layer between the customer and their "concerned" manufacturer/ service provider: a buffer, a shock absorber, a barf bag.

The better of which one screws more, faster, then probably disappear...

Sorry to pester you once again about Customer Service. I have just called this (632)-8542100 CSR hotline and it's Air 21 who answered when I had a shipment placed through a DHL outlet. I was expecting the LBC-24 hours delivery type which the CSR (sales clerk) assured me... Only to find out I was given the 2-working days type of delivery, which means that the one I shipped around 9 AM in June 19 Thursday shall be delivered either on Monday or Tuesday. So much for express delivery.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


there are some interesting lines in here... i like most about monkeys paying other monkeys to listen to them... and monkeys giving a hoot about trophies and accolades... or giving a hoot about Nietzsche (did I ever spell it right the first time???) when he's just another monkey...and drawing imaginary lines and numbers... i hate numbers.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Beer at McDonald's

If it had been a lone experience, I would not have bothered and simply sacrificed a few bucks for the foul-tasting Del Monte pineapple juice that McDonald's serve. It is not exactly foul. Just it does not taste like Del Monte's canned pineapple juices as well as other pineapple juices one drinks at any other fast food chain. It tastes like beer. Fermented.

So that when the second time I was served in another outlet where I tasted it the second time, I approached one of their store managers and asked whether they were checking how their juice tastes. "Because your pineapple juice tastes like beer," I said.

The manager, of course, as I expected, apologized and asked to serve me another drink. So, there, I took iced tea. It tasted fine with me.

I pro'bbly won't have returned the beer-tasting pineapple juice if it had occurred about a decade ago... when I was a beer connoisseur-wannabe. Sort of. I simply want to have a belly back then. I was so slim I could eat a pail of trans-fat and carbo-loaded food for weeks without effect on my body built and weight. And the passion to get "stout" had me sought various kinds of beer brands, and hang out at Brew Bros (now defunct, of the Padis Group) and pouring on beer books authored by the likes of Alan Eames (I had a signed book as well as authentic written articles from the Indiana Jones of beer), Michael Jackson, among others... still to no avail.

Anyway, while trying to enjoy the meal, the manager approached me and explained their pineapple juice tastes fine (meaning I was mistaken). I smiled a lazy, wicked grin and said, "Wanna bet?" and went on, "Let's go out and buy a Del Monte pineapple and beer over at 7-11 and let us compare their tastes...on me..."

It must have been my wicked, nasty grin which made him back-out amicably. He let out a little laugh and said it was not necessary. I suggested they settle the matter with Del Monte. Because today, what replaced my beer is pineapple juice. I have to stop my belly from exploding...

Thursday, May 29, 2008


An insignia, or replica, or however you may call it, of our flag (Red white & blue, stars over you...) over imposed with the words "Pilipinas kong Mahal" and the word "mahal" underlined" is scattered all over the metro. Some suspect it has got to do with june 12. Am not really sure what June 12 is. I don't express my nationalism and pride in terms of remembering celebrations like national flag day, or whatever-national day.

I find it double-entendre... If it's from government offices, whoever had it approved for printing is a genius. He had his message sent. If it was from protest groups, they must be well-oiled, if y'know-wat-eye-meen.

A couple of months back, I uttered the words, blogged about it as we attempt to take the first steps to get out of this country...

I love this country and its people. Except its government system and the people in it... It's as simple as that. I wrote it once and I will do it again: If I had a choice, I don't want to leave. In fact, I have chosen not to, even if I am not a moneyed elite who could start a business with a click of a finger to survive in this garbage jungle, even if I have no politician for a back-up for whatever ambition I might be aspiring (have you tasted your own barf?) (Wow, I must be a The way its going, we who are left in the country have become heroes in our own right...

Reminds me more than a decade back when visiting at Fort Santiago, classmate-officemate barkada Eynah asked me where (or how?) might I have been have I dwelt during the Spanish era. She had the romantic Kapitan Tiago feasts in her mind... like this...

But I answered, pointing at the tunnels, "I would be there... probably a prisoner."

And she retorted with a laugh, "How consistent!"

I still don't know why Ninoy Aquino said it... "The Filipino is worth dying for..." but I'd take him for national hero any time if only for those words.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And Another...

Each time I feel so low and defeated, so much like millions of disillusioned (youth? am not, anymore), I turn to what's left... only ally...

Cause I Hate'Em So

Thursday, May 22, 2008

BIR & Their Magicians

Still reeling from the tax deduction which was highest in my history of being a Filipino citizen (some $135 only per month!!!), I received a call informing I had another BIR violation for a micro-mini venture in Pangasinan. The District is Urdaneta. I was penalized earlier for a violation I was not even informed about (talk about integrity, competence, etc), of which I am not allowed to contest (so, when it comes to BIR, THEY are the law, paging Judge Dredd) --- where are my effing rights???

Reason: Failure to register my business with the BIR 1 month after the SEC registration. I answered it was because I WAS NOT INFORMED. Hello? Is it now our sworn duty to memorize when and how to avoid penalties from BIR?

Did BIR exerted any effort to become EFFICIENT & COMPETENT as they claim in a large tarpaulin inside their office? Don't we the constituents have the right to be informed? Is there DUE PROCESS OF LAW here? p'a, matindi pa sila sa mga kakilala ko sa pier ah!

Aside from this, the Municipality advised me to register with them on the January of the year I am going to operate. Di ka rin naman bibigyan ng chance ng BIR na mag register without Mayor's Permit. Kaso mo, MUELTA ka day!

An'lupit 'no? OK lang naman 'yon ate kung di ini-offer ni Mrs. Soriano na siya na daw magpapa-register ng business ko with BIR. Nagkataon lang namang Revenue Officer siya sa Villasis. January ako nag-file, last week ng March niya ni-release. Pagpunta ko ng 1st week ng April sa BIR-Distrrict Office to formalize everything, sabi ni Eden Cerafica, penalty daw ako... One thousand lang naman ma'am e. sabi niya.

Sa isip ko, tugon ko: Oo nga e. Di bale, akin naman ang Central Bank e.

Hello? Kaya po kami nagbi-business kasi po you cannot provide us enough jobs para we can live properly. Hindi po para kotongan niyo!

Yan. So, dahil wala po akong budget, kelangan ulit kumayod para mabayaran ang penalty. E di delay na naman. April 28, natapos ko rin. Pati libro, journals at iba pa, sabi ko, lahatin na para wala nang problema.

Inorder ko na lahat kay Elmer, the registration officer.

May 14, eto na ang call ko. Me penalty na naman. Ang charges, wala daw akong books saka resibo according to Marylou Tan, another magician, este, collection officer ata.

Sabi ko, kasalanan kong delayed ang order ko kay Elmer? Ni hindi na nga ako humingi ng resibo for the printing saka books na worth P1,500 e. Dapat si Elmer ang kasuhan nila. Ang charge:

- accepting payment w/o issuing official receipts with BIR seal.

Isa pa lang 'yon. Nagpapakababaw palang ako Elmer. Pano, sabi ng kasama ko, pinagpipilitan niyo daw na May 14 ako nag-file. Sorry friend, pero nandito ako sa Quezon City on that date. And the last time I saw your friggin' faces is April 28. Damay-damay na 'to.

Kung di kayo makuha sa pakiusap, tabla-tabla na.

Intro pa lang 'to. Kalkalin niyo na record ko. Nakasuhan na ako ng P30,000,000 libel case (criminal pa). pauna pa lang 'yan...

My Taxes, Your Taxes (sa kinain nating Nissin's Seafoods Instant Mami), went here! Nagpapaniwala naman kayo ke Kongresman na sa kanila galing ang pondo? Hindi po! Mula po sa pinaghati-hati nating pitong-pisong napakuluang mami!

Sa ngayon po, pinag-aaralan ko po ang kagalingan ni Howard Hughes, na bukod sa isang henyo at guwaping, naiwasan niya ang kabuyaan ng mga tax collectors to think that he was a multi-bilionnaire. All tips and advice, welcome.

Greed & a Nation

Throughout history, we have encountered the demise of nations due to greed of a select few...

In the Philippines, although I did not like Martial Law because I was always restrained by my mother when asking questions, I still respect the deposed, late Ferdinand Marcos. In his time, Manila was top ten of the most popular cities of the world... probably top ten destination, although Beatles did not agree...

And I could not blame them... and I side with them.

Here's why...

Jewelries are beautiful... But if the spark of diamond measures a woman's greed and insecurity, I would prefer nothing on. And I'd like to believe that she's one of the greediest and most insecure woman this earth has ever seen.

Until today, millions of Filipinos are reeling...


I wonder where these loots are now... is PCGG still active? If it's gone, then, the loot could have also disappeared by now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PLDT Hotline

I called up that effing hotline the Customer Service representative from SM North EDSA told me about.

The automated message says: "...Please visit your nearest PLDT Customer Service..."

Hey, Mr. Dan Ibarra, whatsup?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid, a Hoax???

QUESTION: What is worse than calling a Customer Service Hotline and talking to a CS Representative?

In late March or early April, I bought a PLDT Landline Plus Prepaid SIM for P100 in Urdaneta. I thought it was s steal because "...All you need to do is just insert the SIM in any PLDT handset or suitable device and you already have an instant PLDT landline!" according to Dan C. Ibarra, Retail Business group head. "Suitable device" here means any "open line" mobile phone (Nokia, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, etc).

Also says here that it has a P50 free (p 14) so much like your new SIM, Smart, Globe or whatever... with a load of freebies... as OPTION 1. THIS WAS NEVER AVAILED!!! There's a catch, of course. Among them, a regular (Smart e-load of minimum P300 monthly or P600 monthly -- as plans). After I inserted it in an open Nokia cell phone, I received a message saying I need to reload. Whereas it is not yet registered.

Days passed and as I was a working class hero, hardly had the luxury of visiting PLDT's customer service. I found time to insert a visit though, in another location, which was SM North EDSA. The Customer Service representatives received the same "automated answer."

The CSR said, I need to go back to the PLDT Customer Service-Urdaneta. So, I asked the CSR a big favor to please give me the phone number of their PLDT office in Urdaneta. And she was so sorry because it will take a long time before she can retrieve the information (and this is the age of interconnectivity, hello PLDT? Yeah, wrong number.)

So, I asked instead that she give me her number so I could call her some other time to get the number of PLDT Urdaneta. After mumbling and fumbling for excuses, the imaginary bulb on top of her head light up, and she beamed, "You may call their hotline: 101-328 using a PLDT phone!"

Now, the answer to my question: Personally lining up to talk with a CSR who will instruct you to call a CSR on phone.

Thank you.

But anyway, why the hell won't it work Mr. Dan Ibarra?

I'd speculate (which means I am just guessing and accepts any mistake about my guess):
1. It is a perishable good. Expires --- say 5 days --- after purchase.
2. The P50 option in page 5 of User Guide was a MISTAKE.
3. It is a hoax. This is (supposedly) usable in any mobile phone unit which may cost between P800 to P2500 and still portable, whereas the PLDT handset that comes with its twin P600 plan is P2,500. PLDT made a mistake of releasing it.

BTW, my boss from the US during his visit in April 25 shared that his family of 5 children had an unlimited SMS subscription of US$10/month. I wonder which of our giant networks could bring that rate here in the SMS capital of the world.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Deviants & Young Turks

My interest was recently pricked with the 24 Oras feature on the so-called young turks. Years before, the "pogi" congressmen (with a couple successfully jumping to the senate) filled us with enough "pogi points" agenda that propelled them to higher position. There was, of course, a dearth of relevance, if any at all.

It seemed, to remain "ideal" today has the youths divided: deviants or politically correct. Or inclined. And we've heard of "so young and so corrupt" once and never will forget as this is lived up through their effing end.

So, there, I'd remain a deviant. Effing deviant. The sad part is that, I am poor. Or I could have successfully launched a massive campaign against freakin' elitism that plagued all that made-it and making it previously "idealist" effing youths.

The problem has always been a separation. Deviants fill the streets during protests, massive or otherwise. They have become a joke which I find NOT funny at all. They are our only remaining hope, and wish upon the deepest (blah blah) they are untainted.

Who could NOT be untainted? They learn something, the political factions pick 'em up and add up "pogi" points for themselves as a projection to the masses that they support the cause (of the masses). Of course, this is effing bull. I knew of a classmate who was said to have led the LFS in UP demonstrations during college days, who became a Sangguniang Kabataan chairman, scaled up the ranks, and ended up as Sangguniang Panlalawigan member under a puppet republic (ei, we had a republic, hehe).

So we'd always wonder what the rest who are a little bit flabby (or swelling to burst) and whom we call honorables actually deserve. I'd say lechon frying?

Honorable in this country has turned into a big, bad joke, and they are effing ignorant about it. And the youth who could effect change are aiming to run as "public servants". Pathetic. Honorables and public servants are the same. Much like lechon, they were made of thick, hideous, cancerous, fat while breathing.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pinoy Idol

Pwedeng magmura?

First off, I was never a fan (nor audience) of American Idol. It seemed its audience and fans need a lot of sarcasm in this world (had enough of it, nyehehe). So, when Pinoy Idol started airing, I was amused at first, and curious how Ogie Alcasid (he's a very nice guy, am tellin' you) would hack it. About Wyngard Tracy, I have never really met him to exchange a line or two to get a glimpse of his personality, and the ladies they pick to complete the trio of judges (ei, hubby's violently reacting about Jolina Magdangal, hehe, he's asking if she had any hit single? coz I'd get Manilyn Reynes any time)...

Ei, we're they reading sarcastic scripts? lol!

MISTAKE # 1. The recruiters DID NOT INFORM THEIR AUDIENCE & aspirants that LOOKS matter.
MISTAKE # 2. As already blogged elsewhere, the show dooms originality. Most hits banked on original melody, recall, and listener impact, not on being able to "creatively" (AAAAARGH!) imitate or reenact somebody else's hit... well, sure it pays to cover (plakado) here as showbands, or do remakes Nina-fashion.

Pinoy Idol, for fooling their participants in part or in full could be considered a hoax.


For the record, backstage host Raymond Gutierrez just awhile ago announced the importance of "overall appeal" for all participants...

It is just disheartening (yeah, I have it!) to see the hopefuls' dreams crumble before hundreds of thousands of peoples eyes... but I won't mind if senators and congressmen were the participants...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Despite the unsightly collage of poverty is the peace it brings and a solitary fire that keep them going...

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Slap on the ZTE Victims

I hate to say this, but yes, a student from Cebu finally told ZTE top victim Ike Lozada that the joke was on him (aired at 24 Oras, GMA news). The student asked Lozada why does he allow himself to be used by the senate gag show when everything they (the ZTE victims) were fighting for are non-legal issues useless at all courts... except the basketball court where you could pass a bouncing ball for a shot... and actually score... for a rahrahrah.

The one who is actually gaining here is the old, the old, and the old honorable Joe de Venecia, as if he or his children losing bidders were such an underdog in a world of looters. The real issue here is that let the leader of the gang lead!

Start acting as professional members of the gang and stop sulking, you bidders! Bidding is the biggest joke in Philippine governance and it will remain so until looters still occupy up to 99 percent of the agency.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The 7m Santo Tomas Bridge

I didn't take a photo. My blood evaporated. I've written about the Santo Tomas bridge before... being it costing about 3 million pesos (or some US$73,000). I went home recently at the wake of my uncle Ago (Santiago Palpallatoc), husband of Auntie Lita (my dad's eldest sister).

On the way home, we passed by the bridge, my first. We were on my brod Clau's bike, at about midnight, with Ivong (yes, on the above photo) sandwiched between us. "So, this is your 3m bridge?" I asked...

"7m," he corrected. "And it is a provincial bridge."

Barely a few months old, and already useless. OK, sorry. Bikes could pass through. Apparently, the rip-rapping beneath it gave way to river waters during the rainy season. So, there goes the $171,000 bridge of Santo Tomas. Being it rendered semi-useful, the barangay folks had to relocate another road, along the Barcena area (well, although one of my close relatives refused and actually protested to have me --- and maybe the others --- use clannish terms when referring to people in our barangay, it cannot be avoided. I am clannish!). At around 9 am that day, I saw a 6-wheel truckload of construction workers/laborers passing by.

"What's that?" I asked Tess, and yes, she's a Barcena, being married to one.

"The bridge workers," she replied.

If I have had resources, I could have checked on the contractor of the bridge. I might also have checked on who's project was it under, probably, under the RA 7171 (part of Erap's demise, and the milking goat of the looters of Chavit Republic) ...
So, now, I'd rather post some other infrastructure (above) which shows the solar drier, the 2-storey building of the Day Care classroom and barangay council office. At least, the project amount won't make your blood boil. BTW, in the Philippines, most projetcs take the form of infrastructure. According to one of my favorite columnists, it is where funds easily get waylaid. It seems nobody questions the amount of infra projects, as long as you're on the loot gang official list, er, on top of the situation.
But that is not the case now. Look at our honorables (lol!) former speaker Jose de Venecia, or even former police chief Panfilo Lacson raising hell on the ZTE. It ain't scam any more than they are still members of the gang. Some people just can't bear and grin it, as if.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Despite all the hype about the loot gangs' activities in government agencies up high, we Pinoys simply keep on with our daily lives, like what the Champion (detergent bar) girl in the advertisement disclosed: apparently after washing her clothes, she'd use the soap once again to wash dishes. Then, Susan Roces reinforces the detergent bar's practical relevance. Practical? The copy-writer should have considered re-use of the soap for washing kitchen sink, toilet or bathroom, but dishes? Ugh!

Then, over at Eat Bulaga, one of the Itaktak questions was about Banana 1 & Banana 2. Another blooper. B1 & B2 are ABS-CBN mascots. I was wondering if they fired the writer. Tsk tsk. Then, if you've seen the YouTube video upload on Jenina San Miguel, you don't pity the girl. Is 17 allowed in the pageant? You pity the judges who have chosen her despite the irrelevance of her answer to the question. Take a closer look:
Q: What is the role of your family to your participation in the pageant?
A: They are important to me (after yards and yards of preliminary other bloopers. Feel niya talaga e).

With their wisdom and insight, the pageant judges have the potential... to join the gangs up there. Heaven have mercy... on us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

An Invitation: WANTED

To all bloggers who may chance upon this blog, at least 38 years old and below...
  • Young,
  • fearless (yikes),
  • has a vision,
  • physically and mentally fit for a challenge,
  • at least have his or her own source of income and would not need financial support for this endeavor,
  • Had it enough with the kinakalawang system
  • Lawyers very much welcome (is this really possible?)
  • Frustrated secret agents also very much welcome
  • And willing to have an adventure for a cause.

I want to form a team of young professionals who want to have an adventure with government agencies. Let's play their game. This is not illegal. Although an illegal and underground one is very tempting at the moment. Details are still under development and I would need a lot of input. Leave me a message. I don't know if I am making sense. Or that this will actually lead to something. Maybe yes, maybe no. It does not really matter. I will try. I hope you will.

Asians, & the Filipino

The Japanese have a propensity to self-destruct when faced with scandals. They commit suicide. Our Chinese neighbors resign from their profession or organization, and apologize. Our Middle East counterparts serve their cause by becoming kamikaze bombers. Last night in the Philippines, the news blasts off about un-ending EDSA revolutions... some thousands, many of them illustrious personalities being used by ZTE bid losers.

And we seem to remain clueless.

There is only one EDSA miracle and that was the only one. In Madam Cory's time. There never was a second. Nor will there be any third.

Until the majority of them are seated in the highest ranks, we will remain a moro-moro nation. Until their wives, mistresses, sons and daughters occupy the next position, or become heir to their kingdoms (yes, they firmly believe the area they represent is their kingdom), we will remain Asia's clown.

The saddest part is that the majority of us let it happen. Until now.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I blow up when provoked. Bad thing. I shout a lot of murderous stuff in --- here. To hell with reunions. Fucking reunions. It won't make a hungry child full, for a single second. Fuck that sonamabitch goodgirl college classmate. She can have all she want. But I wonder. Hah!

I had fun.

In this world, if you really come down to it, Solomon was not really a wise king. Else, he could have blown away early like the rockstars and Hollywood celebs yesterday. Am not wise either. So I waste my time thinking why am I here?

And I look around at younger (girls?) women around me, thinking "Have they got what they want?" "Are they happy?" "Shit, what makes them happy?" "Darn, why am I here? What am I gonna do? Why can't I fit in?"

Thing is, nobody notices. SO, I get around, plastered with a look that fools everyone else. I just hope.

And I keep wondering what good am I gonna do with --- myself. This is a headache.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


From the Yahoo News again:

"CIA set up 12 bogus companies mostly in Europe after 9/11: report

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the US Central Intelligence Agency set up 12 bogus companies in Europe and other parts of the world in the hope of penetrating Islamic organizations, The Los Angeles Times reported on its website late Saturday.

But citing current and former CIA officials, the newspaper said the agency had now shut down all but two of them after concluding they were ill-conceived.
The firms were part of an ambitious plan to increase the number of CIA case officers sent overseas under what is known as "nonofficial cover" in order to increase the agency's potential for penetrating Islamic networks, the report said.

According to the paper, the agents posed as employees of investment banks, consulting firms or other fictitious enterprises with no apparent ties to the US government.
But the plan became the source of significant dispute within the agency, The Times noted.

The CIA-run "companies" were located far from Muslim enclaves in Europe and other targets, and their size raised concerns that one mistake would blow the cover of many agents, the report noted.

In addition, because businessmen don't usually come into contact with Al-Qaeda operatives, the cover didn't work, The Times said.

Officials say the CIA's efforts to use corporate disguises have yet to produce a significant penetration of terrorist or weapons proliferation networks, the paper pointed out.

Funny. The CIA should set up work-providing companies, online and off, and Pakistani and other nationality Muslims will come in line... But aren't bank owners and investors mostly CIA guys and their counterparts in the underworld?

A few months back, I had the opportunity to research on money laundering and ended up in laughter as I read on its history and how banks offshore or on some islands (and I also read in federal state banks) were set up, utilized and patronized by individuals or groups that are supposed to be after each other's ass. lol.

Well, researchers were pushing on marketing strategies that arms-manufacturing bigwigs have been implementing: corporate social responsibility. lol!

Taunt a little generosity of canned goods and fashion surplusses and the ravages of war and greed are cosmetised effectively. Throw in a Hollywood face and its a done deal.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hard Sell

This Yahoo news is gonna be pulled out soon... so, I'm re-publishing it whole in here:

"Iraqi insurgents find female bombers can skirt security"
By Leila Fadel and Hussein Kadhim, McClatchy Newspapers
Fri Feb 1, 11:41 AM ET

BAGHDAD — With U.S. forces imposing tough security measures to thwart car bombings, Iraqi insurgents are increasingly using women and teenagers as suicide bombers, a trend that on Friday led to the worst daily death toll in Baghdad since August.

At least 65 people were killed and nearly 150 were wounded when explosions ripped through two crowded Baghdad pet markets. The attacks, which occurred within 15 minutes of each other, appeared to be the sixth and seventh suicide bombings in Iraq by women or teenagers since Nov. 27 , though there was some uncertainty about whether one of Friday's blasts might have been caused by a roadside bomb.

Witnesses said the bombers were women who'd slipped into the markets without being searched, as Iraqi security forces include few women and men aren't allowed to search women. Iraqi police are trying to recruit more female members.

One Iraqi official who speaks for Qassim al Moussani , the head of the Baghdad security plan, said the women might have been mentally retarded and forced to wear suicide vests that were detonated remotely.

Other police officials expressed skepticism about the claim, saying it was made too quickly for any investigation to have taken place, but Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki seemed to echo that version in his condemnation of the attacks.

"The terrorists' use of a mentally deranged woman has uncovered the lowly ethics of these criminal gangs and their deceit and animosity toward humanity," he said in a statement.

American military officials said that 15 suicide bombers struck throughout Iraq in the first 25 days of January, five more than in the same period a year ago.

U.S. spokesman Navy Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said in an e-mail that the increase in American troops in Iraq had made it harder for Islamic militants to build large vehicle bombs and slip them into markets and neighborhoods, many of which have been encircled by large concrete walls.

"Suicide vests or smaller hand-carried bombs are of course more mobile and easier to transport," he said, and have become the weapons of choice.

There was no doubt that the first bombing, at about 10:15 a.m. at the Ghazil market in central Baghdad , was a suicide attack; police found the head of the suspected bomber, and witnesses recorded its gruesome recovery on their cell phones.

Bombs have struck the Ghazil market, which sits between neighborhoods controlled by rival Sunni and Shiite Muslim factions, three times in the last year.

The U.S. military blamed the last bombing, in November, on the Mahdi Army militia, loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr , and said that attack was intended to shore up support for the militia from the Shiite community.

The American military said Friday's bombing was the work of Islamic militants affiliated with the group al Qaida in Iraq . As is frequently the case in accounts of violence, U.S. officials offered a death toll that was only half that of Iraqi authorities'.

There was some confusion about the perpetrator of the second bombing, at a dove market in the New Baghdad neighborhood in the city's southeast.

Witnesses said that a woman wearing a long traditional robe known as an abaya had triggered the explosion, but a police official told McClatchy that authorities were still investigating whether the explosion might have come from a cage or box.

At least 38 people were killed and 82 wounded in the Ghazil blast. At least 27 were killed and 67 wounded by the explosion at the dove market, where witnesses described nails, bones and pieces of flesh flying through the air. The bloody imprint of a man's body that had been slammed into a metal kiosk was visible on a vendor's stall after the explosion.

A father who'd been walking with his young son panicked when he saw blood pouring from the boy's wounds. He picked him up and started to run, but quickly became exhausted. He dropped to the ground, put his head in his hands and wailed before people came to his aid, loading his son into a car and driving the pair away.

Vendors denounced the attack. "You are ruining a whole society, killing the innocent because of political rivalries," Moayed Kaif , 53, a shop owner, said of the bombers. "If you must kill, go to those whom you have a problem with and settle your differences without killing innocents."

The bombings were a setback for U.S. authorities, who've made securing markets a major goal of the American troop buildup. Concrete barriers surround the Ghazil market to control access, and Iraqi soldiers and Sunni members of a U.S.-paid security force known as concerned local citizens man checkpoints at the market's entrance and exit.

But residents said searches were sporadic and that no one had touched the woman who blew herself up. A male McClatchy correspondent walked into the market after the bombing without being searched.

Friday's death toll also seemed to cement a recent steady increase in the monthly toll of Baghdad bombing deaths. In September, 164 people died from bombings, according to McClatchy statistics. That number reached a low of 76 in November, but rose to 87 in December and 100 in January. With 65 deaths on the first day of the month, February seems likely to witness another increase.

(Kadhim is a McClatchy special correspondent. Special correspondent Jenan Hussein contributed to this report.)"
If we are to study closely this report, no authorities were mentioned as to the veracity of women and children doing these suicidal acts. All information are from un-named, un-official "witnesses" who could be anybody. While all information were seemed or made to look like "the terrorists out there" act desperate to even force women and children in their activities, all these reports are unverified. Not that I am questioning the ability or objectivity of reporters and journalists. I still consider myself as one of them. Afterall, they (we as reporters) have to report.

But the careless wording and placement of the headline, as well as the sporadic (yes, let's use the reporters' word) flow of the article should alarm us readers. Let's ask ourselves, "what's going on?"

How could the report, then, highlight that women are used as suicide bombers when in fact, the reporters themselves were able to prove that the security measures are not reliable? Not that I am suggesting tighter, more strict, thereby more US forces in Iraq.

The question is, who are behind these bombings? Are all these bombings from real terrorists? The issue is not that terrorists are desperate. Because the answer to this is best as leave them alone. It is, why would outsiders blew things up out of proportion? What are they after? Iraq has been ravaged after it was found it has no form of weapons of mass destruction (o how I love this phrase). So, what else do you want?

It has happened on Iraq. It is happening in Afghanistan. It might happen in Iran and North Korea. Aren't we getting the clues? Are we just gonna sit and read the news? What if it will happen in your neighborhood?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fashion Outcast

"Etiquette are for those without manners, in the same way as fashion is for those without style." - Coco Chanel

Maybe, it's just the end-consumer ideas, but it is not very funny when in an answer to these fashion forum questions:

1. Do you knowingly own any knock-off designer items?
2. Would you purchase knock-off desginer items?
3. Do you think it is morally right to own counterfit items?
4. Do you think it is morally right to sell counterfit itmes?
5. Do you think that knock-off items lower the value/class of authentic designer items?
6. Do you think it is tacky to wear counterfit items?

that is ...

(We're talking about "counterfeit" by the way..."

First off, designs todays are hardly original. But more popular and bully labels want to own everything. So, even if they copy a less popular design, and brand it as their own, you would not know which is the counterfeit, right?

So, I guess, blatant counterfeits would level up the playing field. Hooray for China's low priced items...

--- I'd get


Has to be the biggest load of s*** I've heard in a while, further proof of the ignorance that contributes to the offshore market and further drives up the prices of originals... Sure hooray for China, just keep that in mind when it's your job, product(s) or industry for that matter.

and another: need to check yourself. Counterfeits are made generally in a sweatshop environment and ruin the market. Maybe you need to go do alittle online research before you get flamed.
of which I rant back:

It also only means one thing, you only base your knowledge with HYPE and only those WHO CAN AFFORD IT can hype.

Who does not rely on China when it comes to manufacturing nowadays? learn the "a" in your fashion.


Online information and SYSTEMATIC STUDIES aren't the only REAL and TRUE information.

Loads of original designs from lesser known artists were copied since barter was the trade of the day. It only happened that BRANDING and MARKETING is a western expertise and copyright laws followed. But if you check on world history, you'd really say you're lucky you're on the other end of the spectrum...
It's a positive phenomenon that globalisation has brought a lot of things on equal ground... no need to rent a poshy space in a mall, have a marketing or distributor arm, an advertising arm, underpaid sales ladies, and a hell lot of other hype-building arsenal in order to show one prospective consumer your product.

It is, however, be noted that "branding" has taken on a level that traders have relied solely in order to conquer a market, since Procter and Gamble made it. So much so, that even today, while China (and other third-world economies) almost produce everything under the sun, with or without the quality attached to brands, many "brands" own the "copyright" even for stuffs like silk or batik garments produced for centuries are now marked your famous designer labels.

Where do we divide the lines?

There is no line to be divided. Who gets to the International Intellectual Property Rights first (or are capable of doing it) or whatever it is that safeguards copyrights, own all they can patent.

It is like history repeating itself once again. Why do we even need to register to a damned IIPR office we don't even know exist just for doing the things we like and we have been doing since hell was created? Okay, for a cooler head now, traditions are being taken away from the hands of those who had been practicing it for centuries and, we busy ourselves with paperworks, like, intellectual property and copyright laws.

Another one, no one is above the law... and ignorance of the law is not an excuse... blah, blah, blah. Did I hear someone say f*#k the law? Ugh, excuse that dork. I mean, my real problem is, I have been wearing un-labeled, and probably without tariff (yay, don't even know what "t" means, only heard it on a WTO news) India-woven & designed clothes for decades now and these were not actually replicated with mass-produced ones (yet). And later on, I'd see them with --- say a brand, sky-high price, and ... nevermind...

These handcrafted items are definitely on ebay and other Indian fashion sites now with London offices and all that.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fiesta Islands

Fiesta coronation nights for popularity contents in the Philippines are becoming like a sidelight for fireworks. Not that your average Pinoy has lost interest in the regalia of royal parade of the Queen and her Court or that the almost magical change of an ordinary look into something comparable to --- uh --- now, this is what I call a blogger's bloc --- teedeeheehehehe... Kate Moss... I like her when she transforms from a bland bag of pale bones into a rainbow-colored magazine cover... there... nah, your average Pinoy will always be fascinated about anything he cannot touch, nor understand. Including the regalia of coronation nights.

It is just that the fireworks have taken over as the crowd-drawer during the royal parade... and coronation of her majesty queen and her princesses. And after the fiesta, every locality is back to its previous state: boring, lacks social or cultural activities except of course for street corner gambling or betting, or street corner basketball...

We have here a culture of tricycle drivers waiting for remittances crowding in many town side-walks... mahjong and tong-it or pusoy-dos tables in neighborhoods, children in front of Korean telenovelas and Japanese animation...

Before and after the once-a-year fiesta, we basically have these scenes all-year round...

Also, I have noticed how every project in LGUs (local government unit/s folks) need to be something constructed. As I blogged earlier, built environment in the Philippines is chaotic and insane (I'd prefer my level of sanity any time), if not cryptic. Or a creep that crawls. Construction of all kinds invade all forms of government projects in the Philippines only contractors and government officers can actually survive.

OK, so, the masses have survived these creeps.

I wonder if I would. Makes me wonder if I could...never ever have to knock on wood... haha... Mighty Mighty Bosstones here. sorry for the intermission...

'Cause it has become creepy nowadays to think about my children's future, in the Fiesta Islands. I can survive the creeps. But my husband thinks otherwise. Will I make it in another country? I mean, be me? Nasty and all that?

I'd keep my blog posted. Hah.