Category Archives: opinion



While we were preparing for a dinner party on a Friday afternoon, my father-in-law received a chilling phone call from his nephew, who informed him that his 10-year-old grandson had been missing for 48 hours in Passi, near Iloilo city.  Their suspicion was that he was kidnapped. The child was on his way home when the incident happened.

Although this is not part of their job description, military intels were dispatched by another relative to gather leads and information on the whereabouts of the child. Two days later, the kid was rescued in Capiz province.  They captured the syndicate that kidnapped him.  We were informed that he was forced to steal, and if he does not do it, the gang would physically hurt him.

This happened in Iloilo, Manila is worse!

Kidnapping is so rampant nowadays that sometimes we would only get to watch it on television, in the comforts of our own homes, feeling immune.  In 2010, I blogged about a kidnapped child, and micro blogged two weeks ago about a two-year-old kid who was kidnapped  in Caloocan by a 10-year-old boy, who turned him into a beggar (the syndicate is still running loose). I prayed every night for the child’s safety, thank God he was found!

But God is good!  In this life, there is no coincidence.  I believe that there is a reason that the child was kidnapped!  Most of the kidnapped children came from poor families, who doesn’t  have any resources on saving their child. And it just so happened that the recent victim was well-connected. I still feel that the incident was a blessing in disguise after all. Because of that, other children were rescued as well from that syndicate!

But what about the children that will be kidnapped in the coming months? Kidnapping nowadays is notfor ransom anymore! These  syndicates are taking our children and turn them into future criminals, have them adopted to foreigners, or worse donate their organs abroad!  When will these stop?! When will the police, our government, put an end to these ruthless crimes?!

Parents, be aware: no one has any immunity on kidnapping!  Always watch over your children!  Never let your child go to a public place with a yaya only- hindi nila ilalaban ang anak mo ng patayan! Remember that!


Behavior change first

Over the weekend, I attended a seminar on Effective Communication Planning held at Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication.  The seminar was conducted by AIJC president and UNESCO consultant Ramon Tuazon.  He said that long time development projects have been doing awareness campaign for years, and yet the respondents still suffer the same problems.  He cited the example on family planning.

The awareness on contraceptives campaign has been disseminated through out the years, and yet the population of the Philippines keeps on increasing.  Most people think that the problem is the church, which apparently is not. Based on studies and monitoring and evaluation,  people are aware of contraceptives, as well as the financial problems and consequences of bearing several children, and yet they still don’t respond to the need of family planning. The studies have found  that these people are mainly afraid of the health consequences brought about by the use of contraceptives, especially pills.  Therefore, they have concluded that awareness campaign is not the problem, but the need on the behavioral change and mindset of people.  This was realized because  science was applied to discover the source of the problem.

Behavioral change is needed not only on ongoing projects, but also future clients who does not believe on the methods of science needed to be applied to make their business succeed.  If they look down on your methods, then it’s best to let them know that they have wasted your time already, and they will be wasting everybody’s time in the future if they don’t change their behavior first.

Ode to Manny

Pacman singing his heart out in Cids Bar Makati even after losing the fight with Morales in 2005

Manny Pacquiao lost to Timothy Bradly through a controversial-split decision win  a few hours ago.  Many people contested the decision of the judges. I was one of them.  But I won’t rant about how foul the results were.  There are enough blogs and analysis about it in Google. The question is: How does Manny cope from the loss?

In 2005, after Manny Pacquiao’s loss to  Erik Morales because of a Head Butt- he was bleeding  profusely, couldn’t see, couldn’t fight Morales well- he  went to a bar with Mrs. Jinkee and entourage, drank a couple of beers,  sang his favorite songs, and had a great time.

Our group posing with Manny

Today’s post- loss: Based from several tv interviews, he says that it’s a test of faith (read here).  He said no matter how much he knew he won the fight 100%,  it’s still God’s will. God has a purpose for him. And instead of going to a bar, have a couple of drinks, sing karaoke, Pacquiao says in an interview with the Buzz  that he is taking his family  to Israel, and pay homage to the Lord.

Because of this, Manny deserves a bigger applause! We are proud of you, Manny! Keep the faith!

On Pacquiao, responsible journalism, and respect

There are three things I learned this week:

1. Read carefully

2. Write clearly

3. Respect opinions

Over the weekend, I attended a media literacy seminar conducted by AIJC president and UNESCO consultant Ramon Tuazon in AiJC Greenhills.  The seminar discussed the use of new media, and how to effectively communicate to readers.

A few days later, with the publishing of on its interview with Manny Pacquiao, the bombardment of the hatred status on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs against him, (read here and here),  I realized that even well-known journalists need to go through the media literacy seminar as well.

The writer Granville Ampong wrote an apology letter, explaining his literary style (read here). Ampong said “nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such.”

Ampong used Leviticus as a source for Pacquiao’s opinion on same-sex marriage.  So who made a mistake?  The writer  tells the journalists who misconstrued his writing,  to READ CAREFULLY: ” being writers for USA Today and LA Weekly respectively, should have a better reading comprehension than I do, rhetorically.” 

This drives me to the second point – WRITE CLEARLY.

In today’s digital world, everyone is on a rush. Speed reading is a norm.  Do you expect an average internet user to sit down, and understand a literary style?    I for one made a grave mistake (thinking of seeing a comma) because of my rush reading when I saw a headline in Inquirer that says:

Fil-Am girl Jessica Sanchez leaves ‘American Idol’ judge J-Lo speechless (read here)

My mind read:

Fil-Am girl Jessica Sanchez leaves, American Idol judge J-Lo speechless

I thought I saw a comma.  I thought it was really PR stunt and tweeted it.  I had a rush of complaints afterwards. So I went back to the article again and read it carefully.  I had to apologize for that.

In comparison to Pacquiao, people like to stop reading on the headlines, others would  just skim the write-up.  Journalists really should be careful with this. As Ampong learned it the hard way- by inserting his source (Leviticus) after Pacquiao’s quote- explaining:

I have simply reminded in my column how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden, in as much as God wants to encourage his people practices that lead to health and happiness and fullness of life. As my style of literary writing suggests in almost all of my columns, the critical thoughts I tied up in the structure of thoughts I wanted to convey pertinent to this issue at hand do not translate Pacquiao’s point of view, however conservative I am in my exposition.

Journalists: leave your poetic, and academic style writing in privacy!   The internet world is full of speed readers. Be simple. Be understandable.

Harvey Levin, TMZ producer and lawyer, reads article on Pacquiao, then tweets: The Grove has banned Manny Pacquiao because of the anti-gay comment, but it looks like he didn’t say what is in the story.

Respect other people’s opinion.   US President Barrack Obama used to be against same sex marriage and no one hated him then.  He changes his mind, some critics see it as political motivation and not policy (read here), but the American public- Liberal or Republican….-  still respected it.

But here comes Pacquiao, a man who was asked about his stand, and voiced out his answer against same-sex marriage. Local and foreign netizens suddenly slammed him for his opinion, and called him names.  I always thought the US is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Apparently, I realized that to be respected by the public, it is imperative that one has to conform to the dominant opinion, or be silent in fear of being ostracized.  And all because of  the Leviticus “Death to gays” quote- which Pacquio didn’t even invoke.

Sadly, the journalists will go write his apology, others wouldn’t.  Tomorrow will be a different story. But Manny Pacquiao will have to live on the irresponsibility of these writers.

Tulfo vs Barretto/ Santiago: What really happened in Naia


photo by abs-cbn

Columnist and radio host Ramon Tulfo had a brawl with Claudine Barretto and spouse, Raymart Santiago along with other friends on May 6, 2012 at the Naia 3 terminal.  According to Inquirer, the columnist initially sympathized with Baretto, who was complaining about their off-loaded luggage. But when the stewardess was viciously balled-out by the actress, Tulfo decided to take photos using his cellphone.

Airport Scene. (parody)

Tulfo: *thinking* Scoop to! Ma lapitan nga, at maidag-dag nga ito sa column ko against budget airlines – baka heto na yung opportunidad na maka- fly-all-can na ako!

Barretto: Sir anong gingawa niyo? (*thinking* naku, si Tulfo to ah. Mahal to. Wala na akong pera pambayad dito)

Santiago: Sir, ano hong ginagawa ninyo? (*thinking* naku, paparazzi.  Ang taba pa naman ng asawa ko, pag wala akong gagawin, lagot ako!!)

Tulfo:  Anong pakialam mo? (*thinking* sino na namang kumag tong nakikialam. Mauudlot pa yung lifetime frequent flyer ko.)

Santiago: Akin na yang cell mo, kundi suntukan tayo.

Tulfo: Tara Black belter ako!

Police Scene:

Santiago: Nagrereklamo lang naman po ako sa missing baggage namin…Some of the children’s things and medicines were in the missing bags (*thinking* andun yung ipad, at si Barney! Magtatantrums yung mga anak ko pagwala yung mga yun!)

Barretto: “Pagpasok ko nag-hello pa ho siya [Tulfo], nang-aalaska pa. Tawa siya ng tawa hindi ko alam kung bakit. Ngumingiti-ngiti siya eh. Tapos nagbitaw ho siya ng salita na hindi niyo alam kung sino ang kinakalaban niyo. Iyon ang sinabi niya sa amin. Thrineaten niya ho kami.” (*thinking*  I bet, sisirain niya career ko sa Bitag!)

Tulfo: Hello lang, threat na (*Thinking* beware the Tulfo brothers)

Cebu Pac management: Whew! Buti nalang nagaway.  Wala kami pakialam dyan ha!

First Gentleman Arroyo: Si Raymart lang pala katapat ni Tulfo.  Beeeh, Buti nga !  HAHAHAHA!

Scarborough dialogue in my mind (parody)





This is how I imagine the conversation that happened during the US-Philippine Ministerial Dialogue at the Jefferson Room, State Department April 30, 2012.  The Philippines asked the US for assistance on the ongoing standoff with China on the Scarborough Shoal dispute.

Philippines:  We’re losing Scarborough Shoal to China. We admit, our Navy just doesn’t have the equipment to win this.

U.S.: What do we get from it, it does not have oil, or gold. We don’t want to side with anyone here, especially super power China.

Philippines: Are we not band of brothers, Joe? Did we not fight together during World War II?

U.S.:  That’s so last century, y’know.

Philippines:  Please, help us.  We will keep watching Hollywood films, and stop buying pirated DVDs!

U.S.: Fine.  We will help you  upgrade your  Navy.  Go to our dock, we have many ships there after Vietnam War that we don’t use anymore. Take your pick, just stop being annoying!

Philippines:  Oh thank you my white brothers!  We will now have air conditioned ships to help us fight China longer!


US -China talk

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in China on May 1, 2012 for top level talks on human rights activist legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who has taken refuge in the US Embassy.  According to Reuters, the United States also hopes the talks will encourage greater Chinese cooperation on trade.


U.S.:  Our Chinese brothers, when will you help us with the fight with North Korea?  Kim Jung senior  died already, and yet we cannot defeat North Korea!

China: We want rich! We want trade our fake Crocs and Pradas to U.S..  Very good quality, better than Italy!  Very Cheap!

U.S.: Ok no problem, but you also have to help us with Iran.

China: We want richer!  We want trade our melamine milk to your milkshakes and mad cow to your hamburgers!

U.S.:  How about the Scarborough Shoal?  Our little brown brothers asked for our help to attack you.

China:  Hahahaha!   Remember: $1.2 trillion, how you pay us? You are poor country now compare to us.  But you can  still buy cheap melamine milkshake, and mad cow hamburgers!  Confuscious says:  You look fat, you still look rich! Come, come, we have giant dimsum for you. Agree?

U.S.: Agree!


Russel-ing Naked


There’s a fine line between being a genius and insanity.  And  Jason Russel, Invisible Children (IC) co-founder and author of the viral video Kony 2012 stepped on that line yesterday.

Russel was detained by law enforcement after running naked and allegedly masturbating in public. According to TMZ, he’s been on  ” psychiatric hold so authorities can assess his mental state.”

On IC’s Facebook ,  CEO Ben Keesey yesterday apologized and released a statement saying: “Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue.”

I’m saddened by this too.  Did Russel turn bonkers because of his passion to stop Kony? Or he couldn’t handle the critics? Or the overnight fame?  He’s not alone though,  famous people who lost their mind  due to “passion” were artist Vincent Van Gogh, who cut-off his ear, eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes best portrayed in the movie Aviator,  and Mel Gibson and his anti-semitic statement after the release  of the Passion of the Christ  movie. They were all brilliant, but also went crazy- while Gibson has recovered, others went  downhill straight to the loony land, or worst committed suicide.

I wouldn’t really know the real reason of Russel’s meltdown.  If it’s his frustration to solve Uganda’s problem, he has to learn to accept reality that it takes time.  In my  last blog on Kony 2012, I ended with a question.  I wanted to suggest this:  If IC’s  goal is to make Kony famous, to make people aware,  they are successful.

Other humanitarian organizations have the same agenda like IC-  to help stop the brutality done to these children.   Although they have a better plan to help solve the problem than IC, they lacked the ingenuity to  make a good awareness campaign .  Therefore, it’s ideal that all these organizations should work together.

I don’t really know how to end this write-up, I don’t know what to suggest…But, i do know, however, that to avoid the craziness of this imperfect world,  the best way is to give it an open-ending….