Showing posts from April, 2011

The stink at NAIA Terminal 1

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
In news reports over the weekend, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado promised that all toilets at the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport would be clean, would have running water, and would be provided with paper and soap in the next two to three months.I don’t know whether we should laugh or cry.On one hand, it is a relief to know that something is finally going to be done about the stink at our main international airport. On the other hand, the context around the planned “improvements” is dismaying.First of all it is exasperating that the people in charge of the international airport are doing the planned improvements only because the stink has caught the attention of the global traveling community. The web site “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” (, recently ranked the NAIA Terminal 1 the fifth worst airport in the world (the top wor…

Films for the holy week

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
In the spirit of the Lenten season I will take a break from annoying other people and passing judgment on the latest blunders of our leaders.However, I will continue to express - as I have done in the past - my bemusement over the way many people are scrambling all over themselves to get out of Metro Manila for the Holy Week. I will continue to maintain that the Holy Week is the best time to be in the Metro - it’s the time when there are less people on the road and there is less pollution and noise. Of course, as a friend pointedly warned me, it wouldn’t be anymore if people finally come to their senses and decide to stay in the Metro during the Holy Week. Then again, we Filipinos are creatures of habit. We do things for no other reason except we’ve always done them a certain way. So I doubt very much if people will stop their annual exodus out of the Metro around this time of the year just because people point ou…

Missing the point again

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
The cute little girl asks the cute little boy “Girlfriend mo ba ako?” (Am I your girlfriend yet?).The cute little boy says “Ayoko nga, di pa ko ready eh. Demanding ng mga girlfriends! Gusto ganito, gusto ganyan. Ewan!” (I don’t want to. I’m not ready yet. Girlfriends are so demanding, they have many needs. It’s exasperating).The cute little girl says coyly “Gusto ko lang naman ng McDo fries, eh” (But I only want McDo fries!).The cute little boy’s face lights up and then reaches for change in his pocket “Talaga?” (Really?).The ad was… cute. I have objections to it but they had nothing to do with what our bishops found objectionable.If you haven’t seen the 30-second TV commercial or if you are wondering why you haven’t seen the ad being shown on TV since middle of last week, that’s because McDonald’s has already pulled it out after certain officials of the Catholic Church protested that it conveyed the “wrong messag…

Mandated minimum wage

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
Labor Day happens in about a fortnight. It’s supposedly a day to celebrate the contributions of workers to the advancement of societies all over the world and commemorate gains the labor movement has won through the years. Of course it is also a day meant to put the spotlight on the fate of workers and to advance their protection and welfare.It is a sad reflection of the times we live in that the importance of the day has been reduced significantly through the years. Today, Labor Day has become a highly politicized occasion. Worse, many people think it’s an occasion that offers relevance only for those who are part of the militant labor force. It’s practically meaningless to the rest of the members of the working class; in fact, there has been this seemingly deliberate effort to exclude from any commemoration of Labor Day anyone who has risen through the ranks of the corporate ladder as if they don’t qualify as wo…

Three hours at the LTO

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
Visiting the offices of some government agency in order to perform a civic duty or to comply with some regulatory or legal requirement is not something somebody in his right mind relishes—at least in this country. It’s definitely not fun. Renewing licenses, getting permits, paying taxes, etc. are things we wish we didn’t have to do, not necessarily because we begrudge having to shell out hard-earned money but more because we know we will have to put up with a number of aggravations.I know this is not a fair generalization but don’t we all expect that we have to put up with large-scale inefficiency, perhaps even some corruption, and lots and lots of waiting everytime we have to transact business with a government agency?I have been told that some government agencies have been able to streamline processes and that some have even been able to maximize the use of technology to improve turnaround time. But I guess what…

Pilipinas got not talent

This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
I have always found the first few episodes of each American Idol season so much more entertaining to watch than when the competition has already gotten underway and the contenders start showing off the range and depth of their singing talents.This is because it is during the first few episodes when they feature their auditions process, which are always a rollicking fun to watch. I used to marvel at the audacity of the seemingly endless stream of clueless Americans who dared to audition for a singing competition even if it was painfully obvious that they were asleep when the good Lord was assigning musical talent.An observation that I have formed is that the absence of talent is most often inversely proportionate to the presence of unwarranted grit and gumption. Thus, the people who couldn’t carry a tune even if their very lives depended on their ability to sing were usually the ones who were more blasé prior to th…


This post is antedated. This was my column on the date indicated above.
The Office of the Ombudsman will not sack Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzalez III despite an order from Malacañang. Of course there is more to this story than meets the eye; but it all boils down to one and the same thing—people insisting on having their way, fairness and the law be damned.There are those who insist that the defiance openly displayed by the people in the Office of the Ombudsman is uncalled for because it borders on the disrespect for the highest official of the land who has made no bones about the fact that he wants certain people out of that office. But then again, people in the Office of the Ombudsman have countered with an accusation that rankles: The highest form of bullying from the highest office in the land.Conventional wisdom tells us that the current imbroglio involving the Office of the President and the Office of the Ombudsman is a proxy war. The real contenders in this bitter feud are sup…