Saturday, June 13, 2015

View From The Top

This post is a product of browsing the unpublished photos folder on my laptop.

I have been a blogger for almost a decade already, but it was not until four years ago that I've discovered that there's such a thing as a blogging community through my blogger-friend Vance. And during the past four years after getting to know a lot of other Pinoy bloggers, I have been to a lot places, was able to meet a lot of different personalities and have been part of hundreds of awesome events and product launches.

If there's one place that I've been to a lot of times during the past years, I think it's the GMA Network Building and particularly the 17th floor where they usually hold pocket presscons and other activities for their talents.

I don't work for GMA Network but it just so happen that I am particularly interested in featuring personalities especially in the field of entertainment (TV, Music, Theater, Art and Films) and GMA provides me with a lot of opportunities to get to talk to these people up close.

Anyway, in one of the presscons that I've attended, I was able to get a chance to take some photos outside the 17th floor. I have already forgotten about this but I am sharing my photos here now. Here's a couple of view from the top of GMA Building from my Panasonic Lumix Camera:
That's the studio building of GMA Network right beside the GMA-EDSA MRT Station - probably one of the best stations to catch an MRT ride cause platforms' are not too crowded and trains going north or south are not yet fully loaded.
That's a train going south leaving the GMA MRT Station! Riding a bus in this area during rush hour is hell, by the way.
Here's the Timog Area, view going to Tomas Morato.  A wonderful place to own a piece of real estate, lots of restaurants and commercial buildings but there's also a community of people living in the inner streets. 
As you can see, it was a very cloudy day when I took these shots.  And I think it rained a little that day.
Aside from the photos that I took outside, I also took some macro shots inside the 17th Floor Lounge of GMA.
Here's the water fountain centerpiece that the caterer usually used on the buffet table during the events.
What is unusual that day is this sunflower as a table centerpiece.  Spring, I guess.
Like with other companies and most PR organizations, I am not sure and I don't recall how I ended up being invited to GMA events but what I do know is that I am enjoying what I am doing now - getting to know a lot of different personalities, going to places, experiencing a lot of stuff for the first time and doing what I love most in the world - writing and chronicling all of my daily adventures and milestones.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Next President

It's national election season next year and here's a short personal guide to selecting MY next President!

I chose to vote NO ONE during the last Presidential election and mainly because I didn't see a candidate worthy of the position. My one vote is too precious to waste it on someone that I will just choose because he or she is 'Pwede Na.'  And the 'Pwede Na' character six years ago was our incumbent leader.

This year, I still don't see an outstanding leader from the present roster.  Political campaign ads are already picking up airtime in local TV and radio networks and what I see is nothing short of a despicable line-up for a country that badly needs a leader that will elevate the way of life of all Filipinos (not just the upper classes) and lead the country to a path to genuine progress.

In fairness to the present administration, the 'Daan Matuwid' campaign has worked hard to cut down and limit the chances of widespread graft and corruption in the country by exposing one by one all the faulty bureaucratic systems that has bled the nation dry and left the poor with crumbs and false hopes for such a very long time.  We are, at the moment, still at that limbo.  But somehow some small windows have been opened.

This year, we see the names Poe, Duterte, Roxas, Lacson, Escudero and of course Binay as the ones most likely to enter the race next year.  They have their own strengths and weaknesses and frankly, I still don't see from that list MY next President.
My standards are high because our need as a nation is also very high. And we, Filipinos, as a people, deserves only a real public servant and the most competent leader in the world that will raise us up from our long overdue slumber.

FYI: The first person I voted for the Presidential seat was Miriam Defensor Santiago way back in 1992 but she lost to Fidel Ramos. The 'Dagdag-Bawas' controversy was born and fighting the Ramos government took a toll on her strength and credibility which she recovered after some time. I saw in her in 1992 something that could've been a shining light for all Pinoys to follow - I still see that light to the now ill Senator, a little dull, but the light is still there.  I just wish there are more people like her in Philippine politics.  And there was one, Raul Roco had my vote in 1998 but he lost the race to Estrada and look at what happened to the country after that.  

MY next President like the one we have right now should be against all forms of corruption and should be free from it as well BUT at the same time have the vision and capabilities to bring this country forward, able to make the tough decisions and proactively handle challenges without any EXCUSES.

MY next President is strong-willed and just BUT he or she is not the kind that put justice into his or her own hands.  My next President can exact discipline like it was an overdue loan but is still respectful of human rights and the court of law. I am particularly against a leader who don't value a person's life. Yes, we need someone who can effectively apply discipline to mold our people to greatness but MY President should be better than the common criminal and warlord who's brand of justice is ONLY by the sword.

In the words of Detective Gordon in the film 'The Dark Knight' - "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

MY next President does not use statesman-like words and promises, money and influence to get a vote of confidence.  MY next President uses words that inspire and actions that make people follow - not because of fear or the feeling of hopelessness but because the people believes in him or her and his or her visions.

My next President only has one thing in mind - to SERVE the FILIPINO PEOPLE!  And that should radiate from all his or her words, actions and decisions.

Sadly, for now, MY next President won't get that vote from the Filipino people.  After witnessing the result of the text votes of the Grand Showdown of Your Face Sounds Familiar last Sunday, I have only one conclusion - We still have a long way to go before majority of the voting public achieve a certain MATURITY when it comes to selecting people or at least learning to base our decisions using the right criteria.  

Mga Kwento Ng Ulan | Unang Linggo Ng Hunyo

Mabagal ang simula ng Hunyo para sa akin... pero okay lang kasi parang isang linggong pahinga matapos ang napaka-maligalig na huling linggo ng Mayo.  Pitong halos sabay-sabaw na mga lakad pati na rin ang simula ng pagpapagamot ng mata ng aking nanay.

Pero lima din pala ang naging lakad ko ng nakaraang linggo.

Dumalo ako sa pasinaya ng 'The Party Kitchen' ng Romulo Food Group.  Ito rin ang unang pagkakataong nakapunta ako sa 'Spotlight Events Place' na nasa Pasong Tamo malapit sa Alphaland.
The Party Kitchen
Dumalo din ako sa dalawang magkaibang 'Presscon' ng TV5 para sa mga palabas na 'Wattpad Presents: Secretly In Love With a Gangster' kung saan nakilala ko si Chanel Morales at ang kakaibang pagtitipon para sa unang paglabas ni Tak Gu sa palabas na 'Baker King' kung saan ginagampanan eto ng papasikat na aktor na si Mark Neumann.
Chanel Morales
Ginawa ang 'Presscon' ni Mark Neumann sa 'Kamuning Bakery' at dito ay nagpakitang gilas ang aktor sa paggawa ng Pandesal.
Mark Neumann
Eto rin ang unang pagkakataon ko na nakapunta at nakakain sa Kamuning Bakery.  Lagi ko itong dinadaanan subalit noong nakaraang liggo ko pa lang ito napuntahan.

Noong biyernes naman ay sumaglit ako sa Robinsons Place Ermita upang makibahagi sa pagbubukas ng 'RCBC Life & Style Expo.'  Dito ay nakita ko ulit si MJ Lastimosa na siyang nanalo na Bb Pilipinas noong nakaraang taon.
RCBC Life & Style Expo
Maliban sa mga kaganapang eto. Noong nakaraang linggo din ay ipinagdiwang ng aking panganay ang kanyang ika-16 na kaarawan noong June 5. Kasunod naman nito ay ang kaarawan ng aking asawa noong June 6.

Nalaman ko din na mas masarap pala ang Brazo de Mercedes ng Red Ribbon kaysa Goldilocks.  Maraming pagkain na hanggang ngayon ay inuubos pa rin sa bahay.  Tumaba na naman ako tuloy.

Medyo 'busy' din pala ang nakaraang linggo.  Kala ko ay pahinga, hindi naman pala.

Para sa mga karagdagang kwento i-click lamang ang mga larawan.

Monday, June 1, 2015

First Day of Classes 2015 | PNOY and DepED Promises Came Up Short, Again!

Today (June 1st) is the first day of classes for school year 2015-2016 here in the Philippines.

DEPED in previous interviews have assured the public that schools are ready for the new school year with new classrooms and facilities, adequate number of textbooks and a ratio of 35-45 students per classroom in all public schools.

DepED Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro said that about 24M students (13M elementary, 11M highschool) are expected but has assured the public of adequate facilities and teachers for the coming school year.

Contrary to these statements, current reports reflected that in major public schools particularly here in Metro Manila, the student-classroom ratio according to school officials are at 50-60 is to one.  Two classes are still being combined due to some classroom shortage.

That is actually understandable and at a certain extent an acceptable reality for a third world country or developing country, but what is unacceptable is the habit of these government officials to make assuring statements and promises the they are unable to back up.

This is becoming a nasty habit for many PNOY government officials, to make bold promises and to say something that are far from the current situation and then blame it on something or someone else when it blows up.

In can be remembered that LTFRB in a lot of instances have announced that they have ample plates for vehicles, and now we know that these are not so.  And then blame the shortage on car dealers.
"Bakit ba hirap na hirap ang gobyerno na ito na aminin na merong problema.." a TV-Radio host said in one of his commentary.
Not to mention, that these government has been playing the blame-game since first day of the PNOY term.  That argument maybe valid for the first two years but 5-6 years - now that's just an excuse.

Maybe because PNOY has made this a promise in his previous SONAs, and reporting that they came in short would further plummet the approval rating of the incumbent President.

There's actually a word for this habit - INCOMPETENCE!

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) as well as other militant groups are holding several protests today against the K-12 program.  Simply because of these reason.

PNOY is saying that schools are ready for the full implementation of the K-12 program but these teachers are saying that they are not!

TDC (Teacher's Dignity Coalition) Chair Benjo Basas said that adding two more school year just to keep up with world standards does not necessarily translate to increase competencies for all graduating Filipinos.  They also said that they are not totally against with the K-12 program but what they're saying is that the government is unprepared for its full implementation.

Basas said that the government should increase the quality of education, fill-up all classroom shortages, provide all the necessary school facilities (clean toilets, library, clinics, laboratories, computers, etc.) and school materials like textbooks, worksheets and teaching aids.

I agree. Prioritize these needs first.  K-12 will provide more problems than solutions if these problems are not addressed first. Private Schools are increasing fees this year and a lot of families have transferred their kids to Public Schools according to reports.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church - known for maintaining a lot of private school facilities here in the Philippines - are silent over these issues. Private-run schools and their scholarship programs have actually helped lessen the burden of the country's educational requirement.  But the cost of education (Private Schools) here in the Philippines are also on a steady rise. Six out of the top Ten most expensive private schools in the Philippines are Catholic-run like Ateneo, DLSU, Assumption, San Beda and UST.  

On the plus side, DepED Asst. Secretary Jess Mateo said that they have already hired around 100K new teachers in the span of three years to make sure quality education for our young students.  Not unless, this is just another 'pampa-pogi' PRESS RELEASE for the PNOY government.