Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This day in history from:

Official English translation of The Inaugural Address of Benigno S. Aquino III

President Noynoy Aquino, surrounded by his family, takes his oath of office during inauguration rites at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila Wednesday. <b>Joe Galvez</b>
photo credit: Joe Galvez for

His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta,  Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile  and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

My presence here today is proof that you are my true strength. I never expected that I will be here taking my oath of office before you, as your president. I never imagined that I would be tasked with continuing the mission of my parents. I never entertained the ambition to be the symbol of hope, and to inherit the problems of our nation.

I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen.

My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary.

Although I was born to famous parents, I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates.

Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have. Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I.

I am like you.  Many of our countrymen have already voted with their feet – migrating to other countries in search of change or tranquility. They have endured hardship, risked their lives because they believe that compared to their current state here, there is more hope for them in another country, no matter how bleak it may be. In moments when I thought of only my own welfare, I also wondered – is it possible that I can find the peace and quiet that I crave in another country? Is our government beyond redemption? Has it been written that the Filipino’s lot is merely to suffer?

Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end. This is the beginning of my burden, but if many of us will bear the cross we will lift it, no matter how heavy it is.

Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and as each year passes, the Filipino’s problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives.

We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation.

This mandate is the social contract that we agreed upon. It is the promise I made during the campaign, which you accepted on election day.

During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters — it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration.

Our foremost duty is to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance.

The first step is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. I will set the example.  I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government.

I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy.

To those who have been put in positions by unlawful means, this is my warning: we will begin earning back the trust of our people by reviewing midnight appointments. Let this serve as a warning to those who intend to continue the crooked ways that have become the norm for too long.

To our impoverished countrymen, starting today, your government will be your champion.

We will not disregard the needs of our students. We will begin by addressing the glaring shortage in classrooms and educational facilities.

Gradually, we will lessen the lack of infrastructures for transportation, tourism and trade. From now on, mediocre work will not be good enough when it comes to roads, bridges, and buildings because we will hold contractors responsible for maintaining their projects in good condition.

We will revive the emergency employment program established by former President Corazon Aquino. This will provide jobs for local communities and will help in the development of their and our economy.

We will not be the cause of your suffering or hardship. We will strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and we will fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs in order to fund our objectives for the public welfare, such as:
  • Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood;
  • Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years;
  • A home for every family, within safe communities.
We will strengthen the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of those who want to wield power with impunity, but to give added protection for ordinary folk. 
The armed forces and the police risk their lives daily so that the nation can live in peace and security. The population has doubled and yet their numbers remain unchanged. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pitifully.

If there was a fertilizer scam in the past, today there will be security for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices.

We are directing Secretary Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers thereby eliminating middlemen and opportunities for corruption.  In this way, funds can be shared by farmers and consumers. We will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. 

We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people.

Our goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, I am ordering the DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.

We will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. We will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance. Those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own.

I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people.

To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

We are also happy to inform you the acceptance of Chief Justice Hilario Davide of the challenge of strengthening and heading a Truth Commission that will shed light on many unanswered issues that continue to haunt our country.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all — may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With proper governance life will improve for all. When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression?

If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally.

After the elections, you proved that it is the people who wield power in this country.
This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.

No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years. No more influence-peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more short cuts, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more.

We are here today because we stood together and believed in hope. We had no resources to campaign other than our common faith in the inherent goodness of the Filipino.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those among you who are still undecided about sharing the common burden I have only one question: Are you going to quit now that we have won?

You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.

You are the ones who brought me here – our volunteers – old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks who went around the country to campaign for change; my household help who provided for all my personal needs; my family, friends, colleagues at work, who shared, cared, and gave their support; my lawyers who stayed all hours to guard my votes and make sure they were counted; and the millions of Filipinos who prevailed, kept faith, and never lost hope – I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

I will not be able to face my parents and you who have brought me here if do not fulfill the promises I made.

My parents sought nothing less, died for nothing less, than democracy and peace. I am blessed by this legacy.  I shall carry the torch forward.

My hope is that when I leave office, everyone can say that we have traveled far on the right path, and that we are able to bequeath a better future to the next generation. Join me in continuing this fight for change.

Thank you and long live the Filipino people!

(Good Luck! Mr. President Noynoy Aquino III!)

Sound advice

"The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience. There is no greater nation on earth than out Motherland. Not greater people than our own. Serve them with al your heart, with all your might, and with all your strength. Son, the ball is  now with your hands."

-Sen. Ninoy Aquino to his son President Noynoy Aquino 

Friday, June 18, 2010
This day in history from:


Have you every tried to have someone notice you for so long, and when that day finally arrived, you get noticed for the wrong reason?

That happened to me last night.

I have admired Gang T. Badoy since pre-Ondoy days for her fresh and "refreshing" outlook on things. But what she did during Ondoy has become the stuff of legends. And she have not run out of fresh ideas, especially during the past 2010 National Elections.

These days, I have been following her radio show, RockEd Radio, especially when she took on a law school friend, Atty. Adel Tamao, as a co-host. I particularly like how light they treat topics of national interest. It was entertaining enough to be a break from the heavy stuff we encounter everyday. Plus of course, a second cousin of mine works as a disc jockey for that FM station.

She was a counterpoint to Manolo Quezon's scholarly treatment of issues. And they complemented each other. And I follow them both whenever I can. 

I have tweeted her occasionally during these shows ever since but she never replied.

Until yesterday.

Her guest was Len Bautista-Horn, the outgoing President's staunch defender. My expectation was, given their offbeat take on topics before, the show would not be heavy and/or it would tackle the personal side of such guest.

But then Sec. Bautista was made to defend her boss. Little did I know Sec. Bautista-Horn agreed to this coming into the interview. 

Had a bad day and was really looking forward to being entertained. But then the panel really pounced on the guest and made me remember how glad I was that the current administration was ending.

The discussion became too heavy and bloody. That was not what I was looking for last night.

So I tweeted Gang to tell her to go easy on her and/or just talk about her guest's personal side. As usual, I thought that would be one of those unnoticed tweets.

She, however, noticed and replied to my tweet. But not in a good way. She said I better just tune out if I did not like the topic.

That took my by surprise, I have to admit. At first, that irritated me, because, as I have said, I had a bad day and the one time I got noticed was for the wrong reason.

Fortunately, I still had the composure not to snap back and just calmly explain where I was coming from. She understood and we ended up apologizing to each other.

Suffice it to say that had I failed to exercise restraint, my day would have ended much worse. And to be fair to her guest, I have to say, people have literally died trying to defend and justify the outgoing administration. The fact that her guest survived can already count as a success.

Anyway, all is well now. But I really had to tune out of last night's show. I was not looking to end my day that way.

Hopefully, next week's show will be better for me. 

Am still a fan.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010
This day in history from:


Aside from the development in my life, I am bothered by the way people are delivering the news lately.

Just consider how sometimes (becoming often) newscasters in both TV, print and radio interject opinions in delivering the news. These newscasters have a blurred vision of their roles and it shows. They themselves could not help it.

But editors, directors and producers should step in and just let the audience form their own opinions on the matter, or just relegate these newscasters and reporters to opinion shows and columns.

Just consider this recent piece in a major daily. The very first phrase is totally inappropriate:

MANILA, Philippines—In a move seen to strain relations between President-elect Benigno Aquino III and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay, Aquino has appointed Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II to lead a high-powered team that will oversee the turnover of power in Malacañang.

Where did that phrase "In a move seen to strain relations between [Noynoy and Jojo]," come from? Who sees it as a move to strain relations between them?

At first, it would appear that the public would see this as a straining move. But further reading would reveal that it's probably the opinion of JV Bautista, a known Binay supporter. 

Even if that is true, t that should have been stated at the outset because it creates a false impression that it is, in fact, a public perception. Also, it unnecessarily creates such a public impression by the fact it was mentioned even if it is not. Worse, that unnecessary and irresponsible interjection sows intrigue where there should be none.

Hence, I am calling on these reporters, editors, publishers, directors and producers to be more circumspect in their news delivery. When it's news, their pieces should deliver facts, unseasoned by interjections of opinion. Otherwise, they better just produce opinion pieces and disclose that they are such in the first place.

Just goes to show just a few misplaced and irresponsible phrases can make a big difference.

Saturday, June 12, 2010
This day in history from:

Who knew?

Browsing through the visitors of my blog, it appears someone found my little corner of the internet by searching my old Geometry teacher and class adviser, Fr. Prudencio Macayan, S.J.

About five years ago, I wrote a small entry, an extemporaneous eulogy of our dear teacher.

I also mentioned that a virtual "who's who" paid their last respects during the time I was at his wake.

Who knew that one of them would turn out to be the 15th President of the Philippines?

And that's the closest I have been to a future (or current) president. Hopefully, it would not be the last, or the best that it's going to get.

Happy long weekend, everyone!

Sunday, June 06, 2010
This day in history from:


One of these days I'm going play this in a friend's bar nearby...

by The Corrs

Say it's true, there's nothing like me and you
I'm not alone, tell me you feel it too

And I would run away
I would run away, yeah..., yeah
I would run away
I would run away with you

Cause I am falling in love with you
No never I'm never gonna stop
Falling in love with you

Close the door, lay down upon the floor
And by candlelight, make love to me through the night
(through the night, through the night...)

Cause I have run away
I have run away, yeah..., yeah
I have run away, run away
I have run away with you

Cause I am falling in love (falling in love) with you
No never I'm never gonna stop
Falling in love with you...
With you...

And I would runaway
I would runaway, yeah..., yeah
I would runaway (runaway)
I would runaway with you

Cause I am falling in love (falling in love) with you
No never I'm never gonna stop
Falling in love with you...

Falling in love (falling in love) with you
No never I'm never gonna stop falling in love with you

With you, my love, with you...
na ni na ni na na...
(With you, with you, with you, with you)

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Saturday, June 05, 2010
This day in history from:


Before you jump into conclusions, this will be a happy blog entry.

Over the course of the blog-blackout, I have gone from 240 to about 190 lbs. Hence, a weight loss of about 50 lbs. I have not been under 200 lbs. for more than ten years.

How did I do it?

Simple. I just ate less, cut the soda to almost nil and replaced the midnight snack with glasses of water.

I did not even have to exercise.

Oh, and I try to avoid eating after 6:00 p.m.

I really appreciate how light I feel now and how I don't get exhausted after climbing flights of stairs. And my flute, clarinet and sax playing has improved with the lighter extra weight (and the improved lung capacity because of it).

I hope to lose more weight or at the very least keep it at around this level.

Friday, June 04, 2010
This day in history from:


While I am sad that Al and Tipper Gore are separating, I am happy that all of these #GorePickUpLines are sprouting up all over Twitternet.

I'm trying to come up with my own regularly and here's three I have made up:

Now that Tipper's gone, I could use your hand in my staff. #GorePickUpLines

Want to tap my renewable energy? #GorePickUpLines

I've traveled the world and at last, I've finally found the source of global warming, baby! #GorePickUpLines

Here's one I found that I really like:

RT @BugRabbit: Check out my PowerPoint #GorePickUpLines

Searching for #GorePickUpLines has really made my day, despite losing my celphone to snatchers the other day. Oh well!


Wednesday, June 02, 2010
This day in history from:


Just a short note to get my feet wet (again).

I just want to announce the end of my blog-blackout, as its cause has been lifted.

So you can expect a little more regular posts again from my little corner of the internet.

Curious are you as to the cause of this blackout? I'm sorry to disappoint you but I cannot blog about it.

But a lot has happened since I had my self-imposed blog hiatus.

In any case, I don't like to talk about the past and my anxieties for the future.

So let's just talk about the present.

(And wow! The user interface in Blogger has changed a lot since I last blogged. I did not notice it because I just blogged sporadically and/or engaged in simple cut/paste or video posts from YouTube.)

Disaster relief, sustainable development & community service

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Side Prayers

Lord Jesus,
Teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve You as You deserve
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
That I do Your Holy Will. Amen

May every word I speak be from Your Truth...
I ask come from Your Wisdom...
May every case I handle receive Your Guidance...
May every heart, every life I touch, feel Your Love.

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your Hand be with me,
that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain."

So God granted him what he requested.

Side Oath

The Lawyer's Oath
I do solemnly swear that
I will maintain allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines,
I will support its Constitution
and obey the laws as well as
the legal orders of the
duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer
according to the best of my knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity
as well to the courts as to my clients;
and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation
without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion.
So help me God.

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