Showing posts from July, 2009

Holidays as ordinary days

This was my column last Monday. Been really busy; got sick as well so I missed my column today. Sigh.

Today is a special working holiday in commemoration of the founding anniversary of religious sect Iglesia ni Cristo. There was a gaffe a couple of weeks back when MalacaƱang released on the same day two sets of proclamations one declaring today a special working holiday and another one declaring today a special non-working holiday. Media organizations released news stories based on which of the two press releases they picked up.

Thus, one daily reported that today was going to be a special non-working holiday while another newspaper reported that today was going to be a special working holiday. Apparently, the two proclamations were prepared at the same time to cover whichever decision the President would eventually make. It wasn’t clear what specific criteria the President used to guide her decision.

But the two powerful blocs that stood on the balance were the INC sect on one hand and…

Why we can't solve the drug problem

This was my column last Wednesday.  Late post. Sorry.
Like everyone else, I am also deeply concerned—alarmed, in fact—that we seem poised to become the next drug capital of the world. I am sure there are people out there who would accuse me of being alarmist—we’re not Mexico or Colombia, they probably are muttering to themselves. Well, not yet. But does anyone ever doubt our innate ability, our inherent ingenuity, to achieve any distinction that suggests fame or infamy?Besides, God knows we have all the right ingredients, and in huge quantities at that, to produce whatever man-made disaster imaginable: Corrupt politicians and leaders, a growing drug abuse problem, poverty, and collective penchant for being reactive rather than being proactive.The drug problem of the country has been there for quite sometime already; it’s definitely not something that cropped up yesterday. Rumors of celebrities using shabu (Meth also known as poor man’s cocaine) can be traced to as far back as the early…

Side-view mirrors

This is my column today.Within a span of 30 days, the cars in our neighborhood that were parked along the street lost side-view mirrors, not once but twice. The first time it happened, which was barely a month ago, the culprit—or culprits, since it is hard to believe someone could pull off theft involving about 20 cars in one sweep all by his lone self—harvested both side view mirrors of all the cars parked on two parallel streets. And then someone else—or possibly the same felon or felons—came back last week to repeat the dastardly deed. This time, though, only the side view mirrors facing the side of street were harvested. We didn’t quite know what to make of the selective theft. Was it magnanimity on their part? Perhaps the thieves had a sudden attack of conscience since it was the second time in a month that they were stealing from the neighborhood. Or it could have been because they were in a real hurry. Or, who knows, they probably just had a perverted sense of humor. When I tol…

Restrictive amendments to Labor Code (2)

This was my column last Wednesday.  Sorry for the late post.
Last Monday I wrote about the current initiative being pushed at the House of Representatives —a bill to amend the Labor Code. The proposed amendments, however, are objectionable because they are restrictive. Instead of building a nurturing business climate that would in turn create more opportunities for employment, the proposed amendments seek to clamp down on industry’s management prerogatives.A number of business organizations have already registered their respective positions on the bill. In this space, I will cull from the position paper of the People Management Association of the Philippines. PMAP is the national organization of human resource professionals in the country. PMAP has asked lawmakers to reconsider their support to the bill citing potential negative unintended consequences on business and ultimately, on employees.The proposed amendments to the Labor Code are packaged under a noble intent—to strengthen secu…

Restrictive amendments to the Labor Code

This is my column today.

Being preoccupied with building a legacy to be left behind as a reminder of one’s greatness is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people become preoccupied with building grandiose structures and edifices, some endeavor to produce spectacularly magnificent (or conversely, spectacularly horrendous) works of art, others take on social projects of mammoth proportions, or labor to produce definitive inventions, processes, etcetera. True, it is sometimes indicative of pretentiousness or worse, a bloated sense of self-importance. If we really come to think about it, a legacy should be a whole body of works or output that all together—in some gestalt form—define character, or substance, or style, rather than a singular work regardless of how spectacular it may be. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that aspiring for greatness through one singular act is something we can all live with—if only such efforts do not produce more harm than good. There are a few things i…

Lola Techie

This was my column yesterday.  I completely forgot about my deadline and only remembered when it was already up.  Since the column that I was working on the night before didn't work out (I didn't have the information I needed), I was forced to think of something and write it within 20 minutes.  This was it.  
There is no doubt that advertisements have become an integral part of our lives. They not only push products or services, they also serve as powerful annotations of the trends and temperaments of a particular period. Thus, some advertisements achieve lives of their own and become firmly embedded in our culture and in our psyche as a people.I can also personally track my own development as an individual by using advertisements as some kind of bookmark for each important stage.In fact, I can probably do so by using certain products with very strong brands. Coke, San Miguel beer, Close Up, Palmolive and other brands used to have a strong tradition of coming up with ads every …

Making a clean breast of things

This is my column today.
I don’t think anyone out there knew exactly what was—or should have been—the appropriate reaction to last week’s flap over the state of the President’s mammary glands. What seemed clear, however, was that the way the bright boys in MalacaƱang handled the issue only made the situation worse. Let’s not anymore factor into the equation the efforts at spin control done by Lorelei Fajardo; I don’t think anyone ever listens to what she has to say, mainly because she is seldom coherent anyway. Press Secretary Cerge Remonde’s discomfort, when asked if it was true that the President was suffering from some medical complications related to an alleged previous breast augmentation procedure, was understandable. One of the sad things about the way things are in our culture is that we’ve all been conditioned to regard certain parts of our anatomy with malice. Thus, any public discussion about a woman’s breasts is supposed to be taboo. And when that woman happens to be the h…

Mixed feelings

It was my fault.  I should have gotten tickets last week when the thought crossed my mind.  I rushed many things today so I could get to the CCP before 8:00 pm. I wanted to watch whatever was showing at this year's Virgin Labfest.  A friend wrote and directed one play and I promised him I will make time to watch.
I got to the CCP at 7:30.  Sadly, tickets were all sold out.  There was a long line of people all hoping for a miracle.  
Last day na pala.  
Anyway. I didn't get in.  Went home disappointed.  But am happy for the success of the Virgin Labfest.  Great job, guys.

Consumer rants

This is my column today.
There are lots of people in this country who make a career out of complaining about anything and everything. I’m not just referring to media people such as columnists and broadcast journalists who think ranting about what should be is their only job description. There are lots of other people out there who it seems have not only read up on their rights as consumers, they look for opportunities to assert these rights and in fact sometimes do so at the slightest provocation.I know some people who will not think twice about asking a waiter to return their soup to the kitchen because it isn’t the right temperature or the main course back to the chef not because it is bad but simply because it does not taste the way they think it should taste. The former I can understand; the latter I find objectionable because if one wanted something to taste exactly how one would prepare it, then they should not go to restaurants and submit themselves to the ministrations of a che…