Insights and opinions from our contributors on the current issues happening in the region

insight 47


more articles...

Movie making from Waray’s olden history should begin now

Electric Vehicles will end Climate Change

How could the 'Maguindanao massacre' been allowed to happen?

OB listing by the military in Northern Samar exposed

Message of MGen. Arthur I. Tabaquero during the signing of Manifesto Against Violence

MGen. Arthur Tabaquero’s response to the open letter of Atty. Kathrina Castillo

Press Statement of the City Government of Catbalogan on cityhood issue

Where will a Tacloban HUC get its water supply?

Military terrorizes residents of San Jorge, Western Samar and San Jose de Buan, Samar

When peace is an elusive victim




Manganese, Copper… and other questions

March 19, 2010

"...many of the people in Eastern Samar are not aware of a mining operation in the province."

The four-hour Tacloban-Borongan land trip was not as irksome as it was last Monday, March 15 but I was thankful to have catched up that 5pm trip.

Seated at the center of the passenger van, I was a complete listener to the long phone conversations made by two passengers.  Meanwhile, many of us Filipinos are not in anyway, sensitive at the presence of others inside a narrow, secluded place like a van for public transport; they talk lengthily in a volume, God knows, as though they are the only ones who exist around.

But the man to my left interested me at the start, as he made calls through his expensive unit.  I heard he talked to a “padre” whom he informed he was on his way to the site in Samar; but the next call almost dismayed me as he addressed with all respect, a “sister”:  “Yes, sister…yes, sister…actually I’m in Samar…I’m going to inspect and ensure the stock of ten tons of manganese…there is copper…don’t worry”, he continued.  “Don’t worry, the profit will be divided into three equal parts, one for you, …around 3.4M..”

Having heard of the “profit”, I went outrageous in silence, as I felt some forms of unfairness for my people.  Look at this man, who is not from my province, yet he is about to plunder and benefit in millions what God supposed had given only for its inhabitants’ food and protection?

Also, I am not sure if like me, many of the people in Eastern Samar are not aware of a mining operation in the province. In all honesty, I thought all these years, that because of the strong church opposition, mining had been terminated in my province, as it has damaged some parts of the earth and its people in this part of the country.

To silence my uproaring thoughts, I texted a friend who is a strong environment advocate, and inquired if she is aware of any mining company that operates locally; my inquiry was answered in the affirmative; and like me, she texted that she is also discouraged at the turn of events, and being inside the system she could not do otherwise but be gagged.

O, God, I sulked in my seat as the man continued to be making calls in English, even if I was certain he must have to review his English 101…and went on a litany of questions in my mind: were the names “padre” and “sister” mentioned in the calls, genuine religious people?  Who owns that mine? Where is it? Who ever gave the permit? How?  Do the people of the province likewise receive millions? Where have gone our beloved priests who in the recent past were our supporters in our cry to protect our land in Eastern Samar?

I am not sure also, if our local leaders are aware of this either, because otherwise, they will not remain in silence because they too love this third largest island of the country, where more pristine seas and mountains can still be found and where God has spared it of natural calamities….and where the precious rain still happen, while others suffer the El Niño phenomenon.





Pres. Arroyo has used ‘pork’ as a political tool

March 12, 2010

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been exercising her power to corner or impound “pork” as a political tool for the past five years, according to our reliable sources from Malacañang and the Senate. The apparent has now become obvious that she has been exercising her power to impound pork not because of any lofty purpose but to give out or withhold political favor to help her allies and to strangle her political opponents.

She will continue to do so, and with more reason in 2010, for the result of the coming elections could shape her political future,” our sources said.

The bicameral conference committee had recently inserted a provision that would make it difficult for Arroyo to impound certain portions of the P1.542-trillion national budget, particularly the allocations for lawmakers.

We have learned, for instance, that pork barrel of opposition Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero was withheld from him since 2005 after he played a key leader in the impeachment complaints against Arroyo.

Because of the abuses by this government, Escudero filed a resolution in 2008 urging the Senate committee on Finance proposing the repeal or amendment of Presidential Decree No. 1177 and Book VI of Executive Order No. 292 “with the end in view of reverting to Congress the power of the purse as prescribed by the Constitution.”

Escudero has also openly called for the abolition of the pork barrel and proposed substantial increase in the share of the IRA of local governments.

“Now that political loyalties have become uncertain, she will make use the power of the purse in making sure that her allies will continue to toe the line and her enemies won’t have the resources to wage an effective campaign against her,” Escudero said.

But there are limits to what this government can do to try to retain power. We are definitely sure that the people will know what to do when the time comes (or when the elections come)!





Ador HurtadoInternational Women’s Day: Their Day or Ours?

March 8, 2010

Almost all significant elements in our society are commemorated. Numerous celebrations are being recognized annually to honor women, mothers, fathers, teachers, youth, the earth, animals, the environment, and the list goes on. Even shortening the event to hours or extending it to weeks, months or even whole year round. But what is so significant about these “day” celebrations or commemorative schedules when most people are not aware of it and some doesn’t even care.

Well, I do; and some do.

The United Nations in 1977, two years after the International Women's Year celebration, adopted a resolution during the General Assembly proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace as it has been first observed on March 8 of 1975. Since then, the 8th of March has been known as the International Women’s Day.

So why dedicate a day exclusively to the celebration of the world's women? In adopting its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the General Assembly cited two reasons. One was to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women. Second was to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

For the women of the world, the Day's symbolism has a bigger meaning. Apart from the sole recognition, it is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. And an opportunity as well to unite, network and mobilize for a meaningful change.

This year’s theme for the International Women’s Day is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All”. As shared by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to the global mission of the United Nations to achieve equal rights and dignity for all... But equality for women and girls is also an economic and social imperative. Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals – peace, security, sustainable development – stand in jeopardy."

Indeed, women are facing developmental and societal issues in parts of the world. Mothers, young ladies, girls, and women are struggling for equality and equity over opportunities and meaning that hinders their development as well as ours. Until we do not respect their identity, their roles, and their significance in our society and in our lives, we have not fully attained the true meaning of progress and development. Be it in our communities or in our society, in our employment or in our families, we must treat them with respect and with dignity much as we do with ourselves.

As a youth advocate and a person of respect, I am one with the many who acknowledges this day not just as the International Women’s Day but a day for change! Equal rights, Equal Opportunities so as to achieve progress for all!

So, is it their day or ours?

“A woman without love wilts like a flower without sun.” Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, 2001





Statement of Senator Pia S. Cayetano

Issue: Awarding of Bronze Cross Medal to Col. Aurelio Baladad of the Army’s 202nd brigade, and Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Commander, 16th Infantry Battalion, who led the illegal arrest and detention of 43 health workers attending a seminar in Morong, Rizal
February 23, 2010

“There’s something seriously wrong when a government institution commends its personnel for committing an illegal act, in this case, the two military officers who led the illegal arrest and detention of the Morong 43. I’m appalled at how the military keeps announcing mere membership or affiliation with the NPA constitutes a crime.

Let me remind them the Anti-Subversion Law has long been repealed. Membership in a Leftist organization in itself is not a crime. But what is punished is the act of rebellion or overthrowing government thru violent means, and other acts defined in the Revised Penal Code. Doesn’t the Department of National Defense (DND) leadership realize it’s the AFP which commits a crime in wantonly tagging as criminals activists and NPA suspects?

The illegal arrest can’t be treated as a purely military action because it involves a Constitutional issue and there was no gunfight or military encounter involved. Sec. Norberto Gonzales must invoke supremacy of civilian laws over military affairs. He should subject the two erring officers (Col. Aurelio Baladad and Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag) to a human rights refreshment course instead.”





How to deal with the energy crisis and drought in the Philippines!

February 21, 2010

It will not help the immediate problem, but to prevent future power shortages: We can use CANDLE WAX BOILERS to replace burning diesel or buying coal or starting nuclear power plants.

We can do steam energy using the candle wax boiler. The price of diesel would drop.

As hydroelectric plants’ reservoirs decrease to critical levels in Mindanao, we are told by worldwide agencies dealing with Climate Change we will have future flooding from rising coastlines.

Drought from tropical radiation one season is followed by possible flooding weeks later, another year in paradise.

Drought is expected and so is flooding

Consuming the water with steam energy using rainfall collected by rooftops of buildings and Pacific Ocean water during overflow of high tide to stockpile in water tankers would lessen the chances of flooding. The idea of stockpiling water in tankers would prevent water shortages and crop damage from lack of water.

When I saw PETRON Corporation’s tankers of stockpiled gasoline to supply the country, I imagined the tankers filled with rainwater to prevent millions of dollars of crop damage from drought and no more power blackouts because a dam was low on water, candle wax boilers.

The semi trucks delivering diesel to gas stations could have stockpiled rainwater being delivered to areas stricken by drought. Wake me up when it happens. I am tired of reading about disasters that have solutions and nothing is done.

Ocean water purified by layers and layers of ceramic pebble beds might prove to be a better way to provide drinking water than WASTE WATER Recycling Treatment Plants with all the urine, solid waste, detergents, cleansers, illegal drugs, harsh chemicals, toilet paper, smoked cigarettes, and everything else dumped into a toilet seat to recycle the water to be acceptable drinking water with a wastewater treatment plant and chemical additives so the water will be good enough to drink.

Soy wax candles are safe for the environment

An experiment you can do to witness an energy source we have for the future, but please be careful and have adult supervision. Take an empty steel can like a cylindrical can of sardines or canned corn and melt candles inside or one-fourth filled with wax.

Then drop drops of kerosene and drop a lit burning crumpled into a ball of paper inside to ignite the wax to liquid. See how long the fire last and how hot it gets, but be careful because the steel can will get hot so make sure the bottom was placed in a safe location.

You can extinguish the fire by placing a cover on top to choke the fire that can be used to boil collected rainwater for controlled and safer steam energy for unlimited electricity in the future.

Magnify the candle wax boiler to produce the same energy of a nuclear power plant, but candle wax has no nuclear waste. We might need to grow more soy beans and sugar cane nationally. But I know how to irrigate the crops all year even during drought seasons.





Low population causes recession?

February 12, 2010

THAT was the drift of an article I read recently. The president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, aka Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, claimed that bankers are not the cause of the current global economic crisis, but rather the low birth rate obtaining in many countries these days.

“The true cause of the crisis is the decline in the birth rate,” he said. The cause is ordinary people who do not “believe in the future,” and have few or no children. The bankers and other economic players are only agents and tools of an ailing social structure that needs to be transformed.

The Vatican economist said that since people are not anymore interested in having children, we are creating a negative economic context that can only lead to recession.

He noted that in Western developed countries, the birth rate has fallen to 0%, i.e., 2 children or less per family. This can only mean impending disaster to said countries.

I personally feel there is at least a correlation between low birth rate and recession. I won’t go so far as to affirm a cause-and-effect link, since there are just so many factors affecting the dynamics to isolate low birth rate as the cause of recession.

But I also believe that low birth rate is a significant factor, if not the defining one. We in the end are the ultimate resource responsible for our economic growth. Of course, it’s not just numbers that matter, but also the quality. Just the same, all things considered equal, the more we are the better we are going to be.

We just have to make the necessary investment, the necessary sacrifice, trying to make it effective and productive, so that we can put everyone in his best condition to be assets not liabilities to our economic development, as well as in the other aspects of our growth. Education and continuing formation should be a prime concern.

My exposure to different families leads me to conclude that the bigger family more than the smaller one is better able to fend off all sorts of difficulties and to tackle all sorts of challenges.

Of course, this is easier said than done. In real time, the dynamics can be so complicated to dare to simplify it with some theoretical guidelines. For sure, there are moments, when a smaller family would have the advantage over the bigger one.

But we can’t stop there. There are short-term and long-term considerations to be made, and a proper blending and scheduling of these aspects is important. In any event, some amount of sacrifice is unavoidable, and we should be ready for it.

To me this question of the relationship between population level and our economic status should not be framed only within purely economic and financial terms. That would impoverish the analysis of the issue.

We always have to consider the moral and spiritual dimension, since we are not only economic entities, but firstly and lastly, moral and spiritual persons. Much of the economic crisis we are suffering can be traced to moral and spiritual causes – vices, laziness, greed, lack of care for the others, and worse, lack of faith and charity.

There are now many studies that reinforce the thesis that in the end the main cause of our current global crisis is precisely our crisis in the spiritual and moral life. We are spending more than we earn. There’s a lot of imprudence in our spending behavior, focusing more on instant comfort and pleasure than on productive investments, on self-seeking than on solidarity.

What happened in the States regarding the sub-prime crisis, what is happening in Dubai and in Greece now, are all indicative of a lifestyle that is more wasteful than productive. Perhaps, we can say they are getting what they deserve, a comeuppance they have been building up themselves.

It’s a lifestyle that is afraid of the authentic responsibilities and sacrifices in life. It tends to create a fictional world, its own version of the land of milk and honey. It luxuriates in consumerism and all forms of hedonism and intemperance. It is allergic to having children, to caring and bringing children up to maturity. They even kill babies.

It is this sick mindset that needs to be broken and replaced with a healthy one. Now, do we like to get into that anti-life culture? Let’s be very careful with things like the RH bill. Let’s elect leaders who are truly competent, with integrity and pro-life, pro-God, pro-country.





The bigger picture of sexuality

February 5, 2010

OUR main problem with respect to our understanding and attitude toward human sexuality is that this has been reduced to a purely biological and human aspect of hormones, passions, urges, instincts, sensual stimuli and genital activity, and a naturalistic sense of decency and nothing more.

This is giving it an incomplete, inadequate if not distorted and dangerous treatment. We need to bring it to the terra firma of its true nature and character, its authentic beginning, purpose and end, away from the swamps and marshes of the sensually, if not genitally, dominated aspect.

Sexuality is reduced to sex. Worse, sex is made the climax and end-all of our sexuality. All other considerations are made secondary, and even ignored, ridiculed and finally rejected. Thus, there is that growing, headlong drift toward an erotic and pornographic culture, at first hidden and later open.

Because of this phenomenon, sexuality is not anymore inspired by reason, let alone, by faith and love. Instead the savagery of the passions and urges is given free rein, with the matching fruits of all kinds of anomalies and perversions.

Many people are abandoning even the basic natural idea of masculinity and femininity. That our sexuality is first of all a gift from God, meant to enable men and women to complement each other not only for human development but ultimately for the final communion among ourselves and with God, is forgotten.

Our sexuality is a necessary condition of our humanity. Since we are not pure spirits, since we are what may be called as body-persons, our nature has been endowed with sexuality for a variety of reasons and purposes.

Among them would be the obvious differences between the masculine and feminine qualities in their varying degrees and levels that are meant to enrich everyone’s development and growth to maturity in the human and Christian sense, in the material and spiritual sense, etc.

For example, one can see the differences between masculinity and femininity in the way a room is cleaned, the food is cooked, the car is driven, clothes are worn, etc. And yet, in all these differences everyone can always derive something for his own good.

Truth is we all need both toughness and gentleness, action and contemplation, farm and home, etc., and these are contributed in different ways by the masculinity and femininity of our sexuality.

Of course, given our subjectivity, we can also get wrong in our understanding of our sexuality and misuse or abuse it, with the corresponding evil effects. That’s why we have to be vigilant and help one another live our sexuality properly.

One time in a family reunion, a sister of mine, in her 50s, said that she found it odd that when she visited a place frequented by call center agents, she found the girls quite dressed up like “kikays” while their male companions were kind of rugged, unkempt with beard and all, and she could not figure out how they could be together and even quite cozy with each other.

I kept my thoughts to myself, but in my mind, with what I’ve read, seen and heard, what sprang was the suspicion that these youngsters are playing a game very different from what youngsters of our generation played. I just told my sister to pray.

Among the big challenges in this area is the spreading of the bigger, if not the full picture of sexuality to everyone. It’s a delicate topic, I know, but it simply cannot be marginalized, especially given its character of immediacy, vulnerability and obstinacy.

This has to be handled with utmost care, relying first of all on spiritual and supernatural means of prayer, sacrifice, penance, sacraments, devotions, etc., without neglecting the appropriate human means of discipline, self-control, work, the art of sublimation, etc.

A lot of clarification need to be done, especially on the doctrinal level. The theology of the body has to be explained well, giving both its temporal and eternal dimensions. But the practical aspects of developing chastity, modesty, prudence, self-giving, etc. should not be neglected. This is the real challenge.

Besides, we really need to do a lot of cleaning up in our environment—in the media, the billboards, entertainment centers, malls, internet cafes, sport facilities, wellness hubs, etc. We have to break down the wall of biases that prevent us from giving ethical considerations to sexual matters.

With these things done, we can hope that more people understand the true meaning of virginity and marriage, and that in the end, we all are meant to be celibate in heaven.





Rooftop Hydroelectric Power Generation

January 29, 2010

It will be almost impossible to provide all the people with food, water, and a living standard acceptable for human dignity unless an energy source that every country can generate cost efficiently and effectively as the world’s developing countries with rates of natural increase continue to struggle because of the growth of population.

Rooftop Hydroelectric Generation is the scheme of rainwater channels on the roof of buildings for carrying away water to turbines coupled to a generator that will convert the falling or running water into electricity with the water eventually flowing to tankers to be stockpiled and vacuum pumped back to the roof during non rainy days, instead of pipes carrying water to the sewage, with the excess stockpiled rainwater to be used to irrigate plants and gardens.

Successfully proven with the appropriate architectural engineering design, rooftop hydroelectric power will save the world from the potential of devastation or at least reduce human suffering.

Rooftop hydroelectric generation, which can be designed with a water cycle continuous loop, is a perpetual energy source that will meet the future of unlimited demands even with overpopulated developing countries in the billions.

Normally, hydroelectricity depends on large natural water storage. Reservoirs upstream of dams or rivers flowing down from mountain tops where the water flow can be controlled to have constant water level to assure power provided for a populated community.

With hydroelectric power generation from rooftops of buildings the Philippines, a country with an average rainfall of more than 80 inches or more than 2000 mm of rain each year, can have a perpetual energy source simply by designing a Rooftop Hydroelectric Power Generator emplaced in structures of high rises, schools, and homes providing the possibility of electricity in all the provinces with (barangays) villages of people currently living without power.

The individual buildings, depending on the square area of the rooftops and gravitational flow of the rainwater, will be classified as small to mini or micro hydro in capacity of providing the energy.

An industrial rooftop hydroelectric power generation to provide electricity in metropolises, entire provinces, or new developments that can have the infrastructure of poles and wires will provide electricity in a world worried about Climate Change and Global Warming destruction with no worries of accidental flooding associated with existing hydroelectric power plants, but the idea of individual buildings can provided wireless electricity in a planned community and independent from the problems linked with power plants like during typhoon seasons of uprooted poles and dislodged wires.

For the duration of dry seasons or non rainy days, vacuumed pumped to the rooftop from stockpiled rainwater in tankers on ground level can produce electricity even during high peak demands instead of a loop, but during tropical storms electricity will be naturally created from raindrops and gravity for an energy source provided by Mother Nature, every rainy day perpetually.

If President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo needs a suggestion on how to spend the $310 million worth of funds for “green projects”, how about ROOFTOP HYDROELECTRIC POWER GENERATORS with the turbines for buildings in the poor provinces with barangay elementary and national high schools like in Gubat.





Coins for the future vanishing?

January 24, 2010

The title for today’s entry here is taken from my own blog at Yahoo.  I posted it last January 17 as my second attempt at blogging on Yahoo.  My first attempt runs under the title “Pasuway Tikang Anay” by which I wanted to convey my first trial at blogging.  My attempts between March and June last year failed, because I wasn’t anymore able to locate them on different blog hosting sites.  Actually, even with my current successful blog attempts, I still find it difficult to access my own entries in the Yahoo blog service.  Thus, I copied them to another bank on my desktop as at once as I got an access to them via My Profile.

Let me share with you what I entered in that blog 7 days ago: Fifteen minutes ago, I got the last information I wanted. "P1,283.00!", said Jasmin.  Jasmin, a recently promoted teacher in Kapangian central school in Tacloban highly urbanized city, just finished counting the coins that she shelled out from the pink plastic piggy bank of her 2-year-4-month old only child, Joschine. Joschine at first helped "count" the one-, five- and ten-peso coins that were rolling out of the "pig's" mouth. She soon turned her back upon noticing a first communion medallion that came out with the coins, picked it up and began playing with it. At 4 p.m. yesterday (Jan. 16, 2010), Niño, Jasmin's big brother-in-law, came to tell me that her older daughter Gladys (5 years 2 months 15 days old) amassed P1,864.00 from her yellow plastic piggy bank while her younger daughter Faith (2 yrs 8 months old) had P1,482.00 in her own white plastic piggy bank.

There was a fourth blue plastic piggy bank, belonging to Lee-an (older than Joschine), only child of Charisse, younger first cousin of Niño. I just surmised it contained much fewer coins than those of Joschine's. Joschine started first dropping coins in February, 2009. Gladys and Faith began simultaneously in April. Lee-an started late, in June.   Everyone thought that Joschine's bank would have more coins saved when it would have been opened by January 16, 2010, not only because the chinese-faced little girl was the earliest starter of the four cute little kids, but also because her three single titas were taking turns in inserting coins each time they would notice her piggy bank. The parents and relatives of her cousins very seldom turned up to drop coins.

All the four piggy banks were kept in the house of their Grammy Cione. Monthly, they were weighed. Weighing spurred excitement among all those witnessing. Weights were recorded and compared against the previous month's to estimate the difference. The kids just didn't bother about the weighing. They just loved inserting their saved coins. Often, each would drop her own coin into her cousins' banks, and everyone would roar into laughter. Gladys and Faith have their own tube banks in their own homes, almost full, like their previous year's. Their mommy Gay kept them aside for their future. The original rule which elders set was to drop only the ten and five peso coins that looked brand new. Soon they realized that other elders in other families in Leyte and Samar were also saving the same pieces and dropping them into their children's or grandchildren's banks which came in various forms and makes - tubes, coconut shells, bamboo shells, cans, dolls, etcetera. This meant, these coins were now vanishing in Tacloban.

Then, like them, others had already been noticing that even small, medium and big stores in the HUC were not anymore as keen as in 2008 to give change in coins. Some cashiers were even taking out from their drawers or cash registers the 5- and 10-peso coins and making long rolls out of them then bringing them to another container elsewhere. This more than confirmed suspicions that these Philippine currencies were destined to disappear slowly, at least in the HUC.

Were the businesses also keeping their own piggy banks? Between mid-2004 and mid-2006, only 10-peso coins - whether old or new - were losing out from circulation in Eastern Visayas. Ladies used to save them. One explanation for that practice: there was "gold" in the coin and there were buyers who would pay between P25.00 and P100.00 for each coin. I was skeptic about it. By July, 2006, some of the ladies told me they never were able to sell their coins, as there were no buyers. So, it was hoax? They believed it was.

Since my assignment back to Catbalogan, Samar more than five years before it got its citihood status, I made it a habit to save my brand new P5 and P10 coins. By 6 p.m. of each December 24 since then, until 2008, I would turn them over to my one and only wife as my wedding anniversary present. Over the years, found out that each year, I could keep between P1,800 and P2,500. No, I didn't maintain a piggy bank or a coco shell bank. I just kept my coins in places where no one would suspect some valuables were there. I stopped saving for my lovely better half when I became one of the depositors of my granddaughters' piggy banks. This year, the four lovely girls want a new piggy bank and more coins. The problem now begins. How could we plow in the coins that are vanishing?

* * * * * * * * * *

Just to give you an inkling as to how I went about with my first attempt at blogging, here are some excerpts of my post for that:

Anyway, Engr. Ray P. Gaspay told me sometime in 2005 that he had prepared a blog site for me, for inclusion in his website, the world-accessed I told him I didn't know anything about it. He said I just needed to encode my day-to-day observations, experiences, thoughts, and others, on the Microsoft Word and he would take care of the rest. I had not been able to produce any for that blog site, yes, despite his proddings. Not only had I weird imaginations about blogging, I also lacked material time. I was engrossed in other activities most of which entailed either thinking and writing, or traveling. That lack had in fact slowly and gradually pulled me out of my commitment to the Waray-Waray La cable television mini-magazine format program which the Service Cooperative of Media Practitioners originally put out as one of its special projects – thanks to SCMP chairman Justenry Mendoza Lagrimas for his active and full support that lasted for quite a time besides getting it realized, together with his having baptized the program as such. Waray-Waray La was being shown on the local community channel of Decobeam Cable TV in Catbalogan, Samar, an outfit of which Engr. Gaspay himself was chief of operations.

Until I learned how to use the internet sometime only last year (2008), I was actually still having a nebulous background about maintaining a blog site. Not long ago, I did try at one, through Yahoo!Mail's assistance, but I was only wondering what I could get out of that try. In fact, I didn't know how to access that myself. Thus, I have no idea whatever was sent to that, if any, from anybody who could have possibly read it. I didn't care. I wasn't ready for it. Perhaps, it would be all right if I can just request any one who can make himself or herself into this site to suggest what else should this contain and display.

Yes, I do have several ideas in my mind. But I don't know how to pick them up from the viewpoint of blog searchers and readers. In fact, too, I've also been thinking of posting here some of the photographs that I have taken – mostly in my hometown of Basey in the province of Samar, here in the Philippines. Yes, I did just open the website of my admired spelunker, Joni Abesamis Bonifacio of Catbalogan, and mused whether I was viewing his website. It contained photographs of the Langun-Gobingob cave system in Calbiga, Samar, personal travelogue of Howie Severino who made his first trek into that mountain-nestling cave solitarily distant from the town proper, and Joni's reproduction of my own article on Howie's adventure to the depths of the cave, plus comments or reactions. I wondered how I could do the way Joni did for an international public audience.





Tim Smith ducked the Pacquiao-Clottey press conference

January 23, 2010

Tim Smith, the sports columnist of The New York Daily News was a no-show at the Pacquiao-Clottey press conference this week in New York at Madison Square Garden.

Filipino mediamen and press are looking for a chance to get an answer from Tim Smith about his article on Dec.25, 2009 where he wrote that he has a source familiar to the talks that a Pacquiao representative asked what penalties Pacquiao would face if he tested dirty and also if dirty results could be kept secret so that the integrity of the sport wouldn’t be ruined in the public eye.

Reporters are also eager to get some answers from Tim Smith about where did he get his information that Manny Pacquiao is afraid of needles. There is no interview where Manny Pacquiao said that he is afraid of needles except from the press release coming from the Golden Boy Promotion, where they put words in the mouth of Manny Pacquiao.

A number of Filipino press, including myself, were looking around if there was a visibility of the noted columnist of The New York Daily News since the press conference is in his backyard and he writes for one of the biggest newspapers in New York City and the United States. Instead, Tim Smith was nowhere to be found within the surroundings of the WAMU Theatre where the press conference took place.

Tim Smith, until now, has not produced facts even with the request and challenge coming from Manny Pacquiao himself in his own Kumbinasyon column titled, “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” posted at Philippine Together with Teddy Atlas and ESPN, Tim Smith was issued a challenge coming from the number one pound-for-pound champion in the world – to show facts about a certain representative from within the Pacquiao camp, to show facts before you write something false.

That Wednesday afternoon at the Pacquiao-Clottey press conference was the chance for a respected journalist and columnist like Tim Smith to actually gather his facts and evidence and SHOW IT, because Manny Pacquiao came to visit his home territory in New York City. Manny Pacquiao was ready to face the facts.

Tim Smith backed down. Tim Smith didn’t show up for this kind of conference to obtain facts from Pacquiao himself, instead he relied on a source for his facts. And what I can’t fathom on this is that Smith writes for a major newspaper in New York that has a large readership in the tri-state area. New York readers deserve to be told the story with the truth accompanied by facts.

Does Tim Smith underestimate Manny Pacquiao because he came from Philippines and Pacquiao is not an American, so that’s why he can write things in his article without facts? Does Tim Smith have the superior ego because he is a New York sports columnist and that he can write without basis and facts to a person who is not American like Manny Pacquiao? Are you trying to bully a Filipino like what the Mayweathers and Golden Boy Promotion is trying to do to Manny Pacquiao? These are the words from Bob Arum in his introduction of Manny Pacquiao. Are you a bully Tim Smith?

Manny Pacquiao refused to be bullied as Bob Arum suggested, “Filipinos refused to be bullied by the Japanese Occupation Forces in World War II”. We also refused to be bullied by a writer like you Tim Smith, who does not present facts.

He knows writing against an individual is accepted as long as you present your facts, what is not proper conduct from a writer is when you do write against a person without presenting real facts because you happen to write for the Dailly News newpaper in New York.

Tim Smith could have all the excuses by not attending the press conference, such as he is on vacation, he has an important meeting, he has to interview a Jets player, he is attending another more important press conference, his dog is sick, it’s too cold to go out, he’s not feeling well on that day, he had a doctor’s appointment. Whatever it is, he should be right there in that press conference, studiously and objectively taking notes from Manny Pacquiao if he still believes in the real value of journalism. FACTS are required in a career of proper journalism – not relying on some source that never existed or some fraudulent source that came from the Mayweather camp.

By not coming to the press conference of the Pacquaio-Clottey fight, Tim Smith ducked and avoided to see Manny Pacquaio eye to eye, because he is guilty of fabrication, like Bob Arum stated. Because if Tim Smith is not guilty of fabrication, then he could have and should have shown Manny Pacquiao and the fight fans across the globe, his source and the facts that are related to it. Tim Smith has failed to do so.




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