A Needed Upgrade Of Filipino Independence Day

Today, June 12 my country is celebrating its Independence Day.  It’s the day when Philippines was freed and got liberated from centuries of Spanish colonial rule.  All forms of media here in my country today seem to rejoice and acclaim the freedom my country had 121 years ago.  It’s not bad.  But such commemoration seem so 121 years ago that it failed to level-up and be upgraded in a more current and present-day perspective about freedom.

My country’s celebration is still so stuck about the freedom from political and social control by the Spaniards.  Every Filipino shouts that it really feels good to be free and independent! But are we really free and independent in the true sense of the word today?

Spanish folks definitely has moved on and would not really care anymore about the goings-on in the Philippines today.  Yet still here we are, still so stuck with the thought of being freed and be independent from these folks from Europe.

Can we simply upgrade our thoughts on today’s celebration?  I would rather rally about true freedom and true independence today in the context of the present-day Filipino situations and circumstances.  I guess it would be better if Filipinos would rather contemplate on whether we are really free and independent socially, politically, morally and (wallet-wise) economically. 

Yeah we have our own government but are we really free from shameless politicians and government officials? Yeah we have freedom of expression, but are we really free and be accepted by fellow Filipinos on who we are regardless of skin color, dialect, physical attributes and sexual orientation?  Yeah we are free from economic control by other countries but are we really independent money-wise that we no longer have to worry on where to source the dough needed for tomorrow’s food, clothes, medicine and shelter? Are we really free from traffic congestion, bad education and racial discrimination? Parang hinde! (Translation: It seems not)!

I don’t want to spoil today’s revelry.  Besides, bakasyon ngayon or it’s a non-working day today!  The last time I checked, Spain has no plans of recolonizing us.  And I guess we Pinoys still have a lot to work on regarding the true meaning of freedom and independence.

smile… it’s free!

Ismayl lang yata ang libre! Pridom ka dyan!

Improved Happiness & Declined Sadness In The Middle of the Year

It is June 1 and we have exactly a month before our lives reached the second half of the year.  I just wish and hope that in the middle of this year, everyone has reached a certain level of improved happiness and declined sadness.

Philippines, is one of the countries (though with unreliable statistics) has the lowest rate concerning deep human sadness and depression as a chronic illness.  Reason behind it is maybe because Filipinos are generally happy and being sad and depressed is not an ailment but rather just a life’s short phase. 

So for those who are actually suffering from the sadness woes, I have one song dedicated for you for the second half of the year.  What is so ironic about this pop-song is that it was shot in my happy country, the Philippines…

The song, video and its location seem so apt and fitting for it was shot in one of the happiest society in the planet while resonating past sadness and moving forward at a positive tone. The happy Pinoy crowd in the video seem to say and convey, “Everything’s gonna be okay”. 

everything is gonna be okay…

This therefore is our song for the second half of the present year!   Stay happy everyone!

Kalahating taon, hir ay kam!

Now If I am Bong Revilla

Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. is a high school graduate who never stepped into a college education whose level of charisma to the Filipino psyche is seem to be unknown and unheard of in the universe.  And because of such chutzpah in appeal he landed at the number 1 spot in the 2010 Philippine senatorial race.

Bong was however detained due to plunder charges amounting to 225 million pesos worth of kickbacks.  And in the still of the night and to every body’s surprise, he suddenly was acquitted but (and still surprisingly) was asked to return the money he supposed to have stolen.  The cunning guy however promised not to return it.

bong revilla… (photo captured from rappler.com)

Now comes 2019.  Bong inched his way on being a senator again.  The biggest popularity contest of the country made Bong a senator again landing (as of this writing) at the 10th spot.  Social media however has not been very good to Bong this time.  On my Facebook newsfeed alone, Bong seem to be the epitome of futility, idiocy and absurdity.  Netizens abhor him! 

And those who voted for him, at this early point in time, are being blamed for the would-be-further-downfall of the poor Philippines.  They are branded as tanga, engot, tongo, bobo and di nag-iisip all of which if translated to English would mean dense and dim-witted.

I myself did not vote for that felon, I mean fellow.  But now if I am Bong and now that I am again a senator, I would do my very best to prove to all those who bashed me that I am worth the Filipino’s precious vote.  I will commission the brightest and the most dependable thinkers and shakers of the land to develop laws and policies for me that would benefit the majority. I would ensure that the safety and security of the minority and the oppressed are looked and cared upon.  I will also tap the best image and marketing consultants who would try to switch and modify my very tarnished image.  I will definitely use all my earned and plundered money to pay for those who are needing education, housing, medical care and all other basic needs of my fellow Filipinos.  And lastly, I will stop dancing the freakish dance step I did in my TV ad campaign.  I will prove to all criticizers and whackers who posted, liked and heart-ed in Facebook that they are all, with un-writable expletives, WRONG!

The problem is (in my contemplating tone)… I am not Bong Revilla.

i am not bong!

Pabasa nyo nga ‘to kay pogi!

Piniritong Galunggong The Dashing Version

While I was growing up, there was one fish that has politically been used as a benchmark in terms of determining my country’s economic inflation rate  and the people’s purchasing power.  It was a Filipino staple that resulted to having the first female president in Asia and the Time Magazine’s Woman of the Year awardee.  It was the increasing price of this measly poor-man’s fish that was used to ignite in toppling a dark authoritarian regime that resulted to the triumph of a peaceful people power revolution.

This fish was the mundane and inglorious Galunggong (known in the US as the Round Scad Fish).  This fish is so cheap, so common and so trivial you will never see this served as part of the menu in any grand or special Filipino banquet feast.  Some Filipino folks would not even eat it because they consider it as the fish of the poor and the low-class.

But the sordid, meek and lowly fish seem to have an ally in revamping its unfortunate and underprivileged image.  It is the 35-year old Filipino restaurant called Bistro Remedios. 

I think Bistro Remedios is the only prime-quality restaurant in the metro that carries a Galunggong dish in the menu.  I have yet to know or encounter an equally ingenious restaurant of the same caliber that serves this variety of fish.

Bistro Remedios serves Galunggong and they simply call it Piniritong Galunggong.   I recently got an interest of trying one and it was one surprisingly beautiful dish that was served on my table.

I consider Piniritong Galunggong to be the chic and dashing version of this common fried fish.  It is actually a complete meal.  It is served with a special rice cooked in coconut milk and also comes with the savory-flavored Filipino shrimp paste mixed with crispy tiny anchovies. 

The presentation, the plating and the big portion definitely exceeded my expectations.  Those fresh sliced tomatoes and banana leaf bedding definitely added beautiful colors to what could have been a plain looking dish.  The sautéed shrimp paste with anchovies was packed with flavors while the special coconut milk rice was a real big surprise to the palate. 

that’s jorge, the manager

chic and dashing version

The Galunggong fish was definitely the highlight of this dish.  It was crisp, meaty and flavorful.  And for those who hate eating bony fish, Bistro Remedios’ kitchen painstakingly got rid of the fish bones!  The fish served were boneless!

Bistro Remedios (who was the inventor/creator of the now-very-famous Binukadkad Na Plapla which almost all Filipino restaurants seem to serve now) definitely did a great job on introducing and carrying Galunggong in their menu. 

Chomping on the fish seem to brought back childhood memories and of living simple and joyous lives in the past.  This dish was a definite glorious gastronomic experience!  And after having my last bite, I was already planning on when to order it again. 

inside the dining area of bistro remedios

     Bistro Remedios branches are

are at Adriatico St, Remedios Circle, Malate

and at the Grond Floor, The Block, SM North EDSA

Pinasosyal na isda…

Malou’s Prayer 2019

In my country, the Philippines, any corporate event or gathering will not be complete without the Invocation otherwise known as the opening prayer.  It is as if the event will not be successful if the organizers chose not to supplicate and plea to the heavenly spirits for guidance, strength and protection while the affair is on-going.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts I have in this blog is an Invocation.  I often see my blog’s stats sour high during Christmas season because folks assigned to lead the prayer in their respective event, program or party seem to search online on samples of beautiful prayers.  I can attest that Malou’s prayer has been so popular in the past few years! 

needs to have my photo before the whole stressful yet fun event starts!

malou & edwin, the designated hosts of the program

Last January 21, being the yearly designated organizer of a company’s Employees’ Night Grand Ball, I again designated Malou to compose and lead a gorgeous and inspiring prayer.  Despite having so much going on in my head that night – anxiety, pressure, worries and apprehensions – to ensure and make the party a success, Malou’s pleasing prayer consigned my being at ease.

And because of that, I again requested Malou for a copy.  She said okay when I told her that I am to post it in my blog.  Here it is…

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the blessings of 2018.

Thank you for bringing us together tonight and giving us another reason to celebrate our successes, our friendships, our teamwork, our lives.

We thank you most of all Lord for giving us 40 fruitful years and may we be blessed with so much more.

As we face the New Year, may You grant us the strength and the courage to live each day to the fullest, being a reflection of Your love to each other.

May you grant us the wisdom to perform our daily jobs and bless us with the inspiration to carry on each day.

Deliver us Lord from everything that will destroy us and help us to put our trust into your perfect care.

May we be to each other a beacon of light, a loving and forgiving friend, a strength to hold on to, a joy to look forward to, and an inspiration to keep us going.

May You bless our company with another 40 years of success and may we be a blessing to the people we serve.

All good things are not possible without You, Oh Lord.

 All glory and honor be to You Lord God, now and forever, Amen!

 

Gondohhh, di ba???

That’s a Lot of Dead People!

In light of the National Day of Protest in my country, the beautiful Philippines! Let me post a photo which would represent my protest contribution.  This photo is not mine and neither have I sought authorization from the owner.  I just hope that the owner (musicorspaceshuttle.com) would be generous and kind to permit me in using this photo.

CoiHgZYUEAQRCfL

imagine them lifeless 😦

Look at the photo and imagine them lifeless.  This is iWire Center in Moline Illinois in its full capacity at 9,200 people during a Pearl Jam rock concert in 2014.

The full capacity of iWire Center is actually even lesser by a couple of thousands as compared to the number of extra-judicial killings and summary executions that has occurred since the day President Duterte has run and governed my country.  At present, human rights groups’ count stands at 13,000 casualties.

No to Extra-Judicial Killings. And i pray that it ends soon.

Patay tayo sa mga Dutertards nyan!

Twenty Dollars Got My Middle Fingers Rise Up

I got my middle fingers up because according to the majority of the supposedly most honorable men and women in my country (the Philippines), the cost of keeping and upholding human rights for the next year is worth one thousand pesos (which is equivalent to US$20).  This rubbish decision by Philippine Congress is amidst the pandemic extra judicial killings that is going on in my country.

give my tax to chr.jpg-large

I have been silent and have been suppressing my feelings of disgust towards how my country is now being run.  There is nothing to be proud of and nothing to celebrate about this dimwit decision.  Actually, this decision by the sloppy Philippine Congress is nothing but shameful!  #GiveMyTaxToCHR

Nakakalungkot at nakakahiya.