Former Makati Mayor and current Vice President and Presidential candidate Jejomar Binay.
I watched the Rizal Day celebrations last December 30, 2015, and while in the crowd I overheard two men with Bikes discussing politics. They were within earshot of a couple of people including me, and one of them was a supporter of former Makati Mayor and now Presidential candidate Jojo Binay, although he was trying hard not to be too obvious about it.
He started off by saying, “Baka nga si Binay pa ang manalo sa pagka Presidente, tahimik na ngayon, eh (Maybe Binay will win as President since he’s relatively intrigue-free these days)”. Then he says, “Di baleng kurapt, napapakinabangan rin naman ng mga tao (It doesn’t matter if he’s corrupt since people end up being benefitted anyway)”. He ends with saying, “Magnanakaw naman lahat iyan (All the Presidential candidates are thieves, anyway)”.
“Why is the Philippines poorer than its South East Asian (SEA) neighbors?” This is one question that I have been asking myself since I was in my teens. It is not an easy question to answer, but let me offer my opinion now on why I think this is so. First, let’s establish the fact that we ARE indeed poorer than our neighbors, and one way to do that would be to look at our Poverty Rate or the Percent of our Population Below the Poverty Line. Below is the data for Poverty Rate of various SEA countries including us taken from the excellent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook website which will be my main reference for most of the statistical data I will be using in this blog.
Comparison of the Poverty Rates of South East Asian Countries.
As we can see in the above data, out of ten countries we are Number Two in terms of the highest Poverty Rate, next only to Myanmar with approximately one out of every four Filipinos being poor. Our Poverty Rate is at least TWICE of that of other SEA countries with large populations like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. This establishes the fact that yes, we are indeed poorer than most of our neighbors in that a bigger portion of our population is below the poverty line than they do. So why is this so?
’The Corruption Scapegoat’
One of the main reasons Filipinos would tend to first say about this is it’s because of “Corruption”. However, I am not so convinced that this is so, because corruption happens everywhere, a quick search on the internet will yield corruption news happening also among our neighbors. Now people will then say, it is because Corruption is worst in the Philippines compared to the others, but is it really? What does the available data say?
I recently tried to commute from Manila to Clark International Airport and back again to Manila recently, and it was NOT a pleasant experience at all, as we shall see.
’MRT and Aircon Bus Route’
One suggested route was to go to the Trinoma Mall via the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) System and then take an Aircon Bus from there to Dau. On paper this seems ideal since you get to mainly bypass the traffic-prone Epifanio De Los Santos (EDSA) Avenue so your travel time will be lessened, but in practice this turns out to be a DISASTROUS route for a number of reasons.
First, there is no problem with the MRT, but once you go down the Trinoma Mall to wait for the Aircon Bus, the waiting area is uncomfortable and hot. The terminals only had a few benches, and if they are full you end up standing in the heat and humidity outside. Second, the arrival of the Aircon Buses are not very frequent, it takes them longer than five to fifteen minutes, so you end up waiting for a relatively long time uncomfortably.
While making some searches on Google about my articles, I found this page (http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/fiba-asia-championship-gilas-pilipinas-japan) where a certain user named “blue01” was dissing me and accusing me of things like creating different accounts to go and troll the Gilas National Men’s Basketball Team. I was debating whether to even acknowledge it, but I finally decided it was time to do so, so at least there will be a record of these faktard haters. Below are some is his discussion about me:
Now, I admit that I participated in Interaksyon’s Disqus Comment Forums for a couple of months, but finally decided to quit last year. First is because I got tired talking to these trolls, and there is no way to get rid of them. I tried contacting Disqus itself to ban these faktards, but they just told me that moderation of the users and comments is up to the site owners, and apparently, as everyone can see, the site owners at Interaksyon don’t care to delete comments and ban trolls.
I have been blogging about my observations and impressions when getting my National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance since 2007, and since I had to get another one recently, I felt it was time to do another blog. However, I am going to change the format of my blog for NBI Clearances, before I just put a “Negatives” section followed by a “Positives” section and then my final thoughts, but this time I am going to adopt a more “Free-Flowing” format mainly because there have been major changes in the way the NBI Clearance is obtained recently and I wanted to describe those changes also.
The first main change that the NBI made is that it is now MANDATORY for you to register your information ONLINE first. If I remember it right, as early as the mid-2000s there already was an online registration option for getting NBI Clearances, but it was not mandatory, you could still opt to go and get your clearance the old way, which was to go to an NBI Office and then stand in line. This time however, as far as I know, you need to FIRST REGISTER AN ACCOUNT at the NBI Website, which is here: http://clearance.nbi.gov.ph/
Now, I am not going to do a walkthrough of how to make the online registration, I am just going to offer my opinions about it. There are a couple of good sites out there that provide walkthroughs of the new NBI Clearance system, like the following sites:
The latest Vatican Synod’s recognition of the contribution of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community has ignited a storm of debate between the Conservative and Liberal sectors of the Catholic community. Reading among the comments being generated in Social Media, one topic that I found to be highly interesting was the Catholic and/or Christian Philosophy that one can SEPARATE the Sin from the Sinner, in this case particularly the ACT of Homosexuality from that of BEING a Homosexual.
Personally I find this to be STUPID Philosophy (a Philosophy being insisted on by the more CONSERVATIVE side of Catholicism) mainly because it actually WORSENS the situation than eases it. The “Conservative” or EXTREMISTS side works on the principle of HATE, and it really doesn’t matter whether they hate the Sin or the Sinner, all that hate just gets transferred to another area and at the same time makes things more complicated, for a number of reasons.
’Worsens Witch Hunt’
Insisting that one can be gay without committing the sex act actually WORSENS the WITCH HUNT surrounding the hate against Homosexuals as people now look for other “signs” that make one gay. For example, never mind if the person has never had a homosexual act, people will instead ask, does he have some sort of a Heterosexual relationship? If none, then automatically he’s gay. Is he an old bachelor? Gay. Having Erectile Dysfunction? Gay. In other words, it BROADENS the definition of WHAT is a Homosexual among these extremists. For them, it is better to err on the side of “overkill” than let a Homosexual pass thru unnoticed.
I got the opportunity to travel again to Thailand early this year, and as usual I highly enjoyed the trip. However, these out of the country trips at the same time also serve as a sobering reminder of how sh#@ty our country really is compared to most of our South East Asian neighbors. So how far off Thailand is really compared to the Philippines? Well, one way to answer that would be to show their government facilities, and then compare it with ours.
’Bang Lamung Secondary School’
I stayed at the Bang Lamung District in the city of Pattaya, which in turn is in the province of Chonburi in Thailand. The district is around 1 ½ hours drive starting from the outskirts of Bangkok, which would make it roughly equivalent to Los Banos in the South or Clark Pampanga in the North from Manila here in the Philippines.
I didn’t really got to get around much as I was there mainly to take a course, but right next door to my “El Cheapo” hotel was the Bang Lamung Secondary School (BLSS) compound with I got to jog around a couple of times during my stay. I decided to take a couple of pictures of the place mainly as souvenir, and also as a way to show my countrymen what it is like there as I am now doing in this blog.