Saturday, March 15, 2008

Congratulations and God Bless, Mr. Manny Pacquiao!

My heartfelt congratulations to Manny Pacquiao and his team for proving once again that Filipinos can be the best in the world. Finally, a world champion for a true Filipino hero.

I have two pictures above courtesy of AP Photo (Isaac Brekken and Ric Jamison). These are two contrasting pictures of Manny Pacquiao being butchered and "humiliated” by an equally gifted Mexican JM Marquez and a picture in triumph but in a company of a politician with questionable character.

Manny bet his life on the line to unite the Filipino nation once again, at least for a couple of hours. It is difficult being battered in the middle of the ring and with millions of viewers all over the world but I know Manny has taken pride in bringing a corrupt nation together for a glimpse of hope. But I don’t think people like Chavit Singson should be in the picture. (Nice to say that the First Gentleman wasn’t there to raise Manny’s victorious fists. I could have turned off the TV.) He is like a rotten tomato trying to get some ride from real champion.

Thank you Manny for doing this sacrifice once again and job well done in putting a great fight.

But I would really suggest that if you can, try to land some punch on the conscience of your supposedly “government supporters” that ruin your victory.

God Bless Manny Pacquiao!

Monday, March 10, 2008

10 Questions for a Filipino

Please answer with sincerity:

1. Have you ever paid a MMDA or a police officer some “lagay” to avoid driver’s license confiscation?

2. Have you paid a fixer to process your legal documents such as driver’s license, business permit, building permit, police clearance, etc?

3. Do you know of a known corrupt official and yet, you never bothered to correct?

4. Have you bought pirated DVDs and software?

5. Do you keep a government official’s or police officer’s calling card in your wallet that you would show when apprehended by police?

6. Have you voted for a public official that is corrupt?

7. Did you believe Abalos with all his lies?

8. Do you actually prefer imported products than locally produced?

9. Have you used government resources for personal interest?

10. Do you think Jose De Venecia is a big help to the country?

If you answered yes to all of the questions, then you are the biggest shame of this country.

If you answered 7to 9 yes, you are a blight and disgrace to this country.

If you answered 4 to 6 yes, you need to get more dose of patriotism.

If you answered 1 to 3 yes, you are still a blight but you are not hopeless.

If you answered yes to question number 7, then you are like Abalos.

If you answered yes to question # 10, then you are still stupid to believe such fallacies.

If you answered yes to question # 1, then you are exactly the same as 80% of our corruption supporting countrymen.

If you answered yes to question # 4, then you are actually stealing people’s right for their work.

If you never said yes to any of the questions above, then you are the HERO that I am looking for. You are a rare breed. We should have more people like you. Who knows, you are the 100th monkey that will change the Philippines from the “sick man of Asia” to the “Pride of the brown race”.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My prayer for my country

I hope God will not come to a point to say, “Give me one honest Filipino politician, and I will spare the Philippines.” It is obvious that the continuous despair of our country is a by-product of our government’s ever insatiable appetite for corruption. I said “government” collectively because I have seen corruption with my own eyes from the building officials office, LTO, Airport Customs, PNP, MMDA and even one of the highest elected official of this country.

I loathe these people. As I have mentioned it is our tax money that’s giving our government offices their budget to operate. We have the right to demand for quality and honest service. .

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was able to collect 712 billion Pesos of tax money. Good but not good enough if the national budget is at 1.1 trillion pesos. International Herald Tribune carried the UN Development Program report in 2004 that mentioned 13% of our national budget goes to corruption and mainly to public works contracts, government supplies and equipments. The figure seems not include kickbacks from government loans like ZTE-NBN, North rail, etc. (Can’t we just put honest and brave guys on top of the DPWH, Dep Ed and Customs, to name a few?) No wonder why the Philippines still ranks as one the most filthy places for government corruption.
Corruption is addictive and just like a dreaded disease, it is contagious.

It was also in 2004 that the GMA government hired the services of Tony Kwok, the guy that cleaned up Hongkong’s government of corruption. Our President gladly pronounced that corruption will be gone in 3 years. What do we have now? After 3 years, the First Couple are under fire for corruption. Sorry Tony Kwok, we’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

If the Sandiganbayan can only prosecute 6% small time crooks in the government, does it serve us Filipinos? Sandiganbayan, which means Pillar of the Society in English, is actually a disgrace. I can openly say, cowards fill the Sandiganbayan office.

Help me pray. Let’s pray for at least one honest, brave and patriotic Filipino Politician who can stir change. Help me pray ‘cause people are losing hope.

And help me stand with you on our fight to make Philippines a country that we can truly be proud of.

My 80,000 Pesos Tax

I was lucky to find work in the country's biggest real estate company and the pay was good. It was after I decided to go back to Manila after working abroad.

I landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with the NAIA 3 Building at a distance, standing like a dark ghost. I wonder that if the new Airport would actually bring some pride to us OFWs unlike the existing airport that is leaking with water when it rains.

So, I worked in my beloved homeland again. I was very passionate and hardworking, being able to work on multi-million peso construction projects such as the beautiful Serendra in Fort Bonifacio. I also have to accept the fact that I have to contribute to the society by paying my income tax, on top of the daily 12% EVat that we pay for purchased goods.

So, I paid 80,000 pesos as tax to the government. It is not so big but is higher compared to a common taxpayer. What can an 80,000 tax do? Well, for a fact that it can actually light up EDSA for two weeks or pay 4 police captains for a month, .

You now ask yourself, is your tax lighting EDSA or paying policemen to keep our roads safe?

Or the one that you voted last May stealing your tax money?