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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

travel buddies

travel buddies

One of the things that I look forward to when I go to Baler is their creamy, yummy and locally made peanut butter.  Aside from a private vehicle, dwellers of the city can reach Baler through a 6-hour bus ride.  And right beside the bus station is the souvenir and take-home-presents (pasalubong) store where Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter can be purchased.

Via bus ride, I was in Baler this weekend.  And upon arrival and while the bus was to park at its station, I took a peek from the window to check the store.  The store was closed and it seemed no longer there. My friends and I, who equally loved Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter, wonder how can a very busy store located at a very accessible and perfect spot, could cease operation?

When breakfast time came while spreading the same delicious peanut butter on my toasted bread (hotels in Baler serve this peanut butter in their buffet), I got to ask one of the restaurant staffs about what happened to Nanay Pacing’s store and where it may have transferred.

I was told that Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter is no longer owned by Nanay Pacing.  I was told that Nanay Pacing, the label, is no longer owned by Nanay Pacing.  And that indeed, the big store beside the bus station has closed.

The restaurant staff through a whisper told me that the label has been acquired by the most powerful family in Aurora and that the peanut butter is now being sold at one of the halls of the municipal building.  But with a flicker of hope on catching and tasting the original recipe, I was further told that Nanay Pacing’s new store is now smaller and has relocated and still sells a creamy peanut butter but already of a different brand.  I asked the staff where the store was, she answered she didn’t know.

To validate the story of the restaurant staff, I asked our tour guide cum driver to bring us to the Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter store.  And indeed, he drove us at the municipal hall!  We entered the building, climbed the second floor and indeed saw the bunch of jars of Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter on a shelf waiting to be purchased by mesmerized buyers.  I purchased a couple of bottles for pasalubong.

Upon exiting the municipal building, I then instructed our driver/tour guide to bring us to the new store of Nanay Pacing.  He humbly told us that the store at the bus station is already closed.  I then ordered him to inquire with people at the bus station on where the new store of Nanay Pacing is.  They for sure would know.

good bye nanay pacing, hello great harvest!

good bye nanay pacing, hello great harvest!

And indeed our driver through a whisper by one of the folks at the bus station was told on where the new Nanay Pacing’s store was.  He then drove us to the nearby Baler Public Market and pointed to us the new store of Nanay Pacing.  The store was smaller, offers fewer items but still clean and organized.

The bunch of peanut butter jars can easily be seen displayed on the shelves.  I asked the lady manning the store on what happened to the label.  With a smile, she ignored my question and simply answered “we have our own version of a peanut butter and free taste is available”.  I simply told her, “My God, you are so professional!”

I of course took a tasting spoon and whipped a spoonful from the jar.  And when I tasted it, I can suddenly hear my taste buds cheering and clapping for joy!  I knew then that it was the same lovely peanut butter which I was mesmerized when I first tasted it as offered to me by no less than Nanay Pacing herself during my first visit in Baler.

my new favorite peanut butter plus the usual nengkoy's favorite fried pastillas (for pasalubong)

my new favorite peanut butter plus the usual nengkoy’s favorite fried pastillas (for pasalubong)

the true deal in baler peanut butter

the true deal in baler peanut butter

I purchased a couple of jars and regretted buying at the municipal hall. I then decided that I will just give away all the peanut jars I purchased at the municipal building and I will keep the peanut butter I bought at the public market for my own personal consumption.

While writing this story, I am munching on a piece of bread with heaps of the delicious Great Harvest Peanut Butter!

Ayana, alam nyo na ang hindi dapat bilin at dapat bilin sa Baler…

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Our word for the day is ‘Kafkaesque’.  Meriam-Webster defines this adjective as “having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality”.  And still according to Meriam-Webster, this word is “often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening”.

The feeling of being Kafkaesque is what I believe is what majority of the Filipinos are at in the present time.  This is most specifically exact with regards to the socio-political environment of the Philippines now that Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte, the president-elect, is about to head the country.  The Pinoy populace has gone Kafkaesque despite the fact that the incoming head of state has:

  • cursed and condemned the United Nations during his most recent press conference
  • called the Pope a son of a whore during its 2015 visit in the country
  • ridiculed Mexicans in front of the Mexican Ambassador
  • uttered misogynistic comments and called himself a womanizer
  • talked about his libido and sexual prowess during his campaign trails
  • pronounced that he could not live without Viagra
  • admitted to have permitted vigilante justice
  • joked about wanting to be the first to rape a brutally murdered Australian missionary
  • threatens to abolish the Congress if it plans to impeach him
  • voiced out that he is to pardon himself to mass murders
  • admitted his involvement with death squads
  • catcalled on a respectable lady journalist during a press conference
  • so used to using the Filipino-Tagalog term for “son of a bitch” as if it is one conventional and tolerable expression
kafkaesque ang peg natin dito kay manong

kafkaesque ang peg natin dito kay manong

I don’t want to analyze and justify why he won the country’s presidential election and continues to be so loved and be so popular in this country despite all those atrocious and despicable rhetoric.  And I know that my not trying to analyze and justify does not make things better.  Maybe it is because like the majority of the Filipinos, I myself has gone Kafkaesque.

Mind you, the use of the word Kafkaesque is not the first time in this blog.  I have utilized this word in one of my blog posts some three and a half years ago.  Click this LINK (kafkaesque) to find out…

But seriously – as if the enumerated speechifying by Duterte are nothing but light, easy and cheery – the reason why I chose the word Kafkaesque is because of a recent video posted by New York Magazine in its Facebook page.

Watch this and be amazed by this stunning piece of art which commemorates Franz Kafka, the dude whose surname was the origin of the word of the day…

Parang pang sosyal naman yang word na yan!

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A fanatic is someone who is enthusiastically devoted to something or somebody.  They are the type whose supposed reasoning and realistic views are often clouded by their strong affection, uncritical adoration or excessive enthusiasm towards the object or person of their devotion.

filipino fanatics

filipino fandom

I for one is a fan.  Lots of friends and relatives know that the person of my fanaticism is the Queen of Pop Madonna.  I have done senseless things in the past on my being a fan of Madonna.  That is, from hanging huge posters or framed photos in my room to cutting and collecting clippings of articles written about her to buying all her records.

I am a fan because whatever Madonna does, I still admire her.  My reasoning, logic and judgement tends to get murky when it comes to Madonna.  Whatever she does, whatever she says and whatever she thinks, no matter how bad, evil or crazy it is, such will just be fine, tolerable and acceptable with me.

I can always reason out or justify why she utter a thought or does things no matter how stupid it may be.  I can even think of meanings behind what seem to be symbols in her wardrobe, in her songs or in her music videos.  That is how fanatic I am about Madonna.

This is the very idea that led me to think about the new fandoms that has emerged in two countries where the presidential election campaigns are ongoing.  I am talking about USA and the Philippines.

In US, it can no longer be denied the existence of hardcore devotion towards the Republican front runner Donald Trump.  And here in the Philippines, we have the presidential front runner and likely victor Rodrigo Duterte, whose despicable utterances and vile conducts make Donald Trump look like a polite and obedient boy.

And since I live here in the Philippines, let me focus the fanaticism towards Duterte.  Otherwise known as “The Digong Phenomenon”, this fandom is something new here in the Philippines.  According to social analysts, this new fanbase crisscrosses the social status spectrum, i.e. from class A to E.

And despite the fact that he has gone fickle in admitting to have hidden wealth, he disrespect the elders, challenge the foreign allies, admitted to have killed thousands of people, joked about rape and death of a slashed neck woman, call the Pope a son of a b, and does not seem to have concrete plans about the Philippines, his fans still would not mind.  The fanatics still profess to vote for him in the coming election.  They would even threaten to fight and stage a revolution in case he loses.

Yeah, I am the same of a fan-tard of Madonna as what multitude of Filipinos to being fan-tards of Duterte. But what’s the disturbing difference?  I can think of only one answer.

The big difference would be the effect of such fanaticism. My devotion or Madonna fans’ adoration would not shape or influence the future of a nation.  While the Duterte fanaticism could actually affect everyone in the Philippines may a citizen be a fan or not.  Madonna’s utterances, actions, triumphs and failures would basically affect her and her alone.  But Duterte’s actions, decisions, would-be-achievements and most-likely-transgressions would obviously affect every Filipino may they be based here or abroad.

similar yet very different

similar yet very different

And since I am not a fan, the thought of Duterte being my President makes me so anxious and nervous.    The result of the upcoming Philippine election definitely is a very critical event.  Whether I like it or not, it will be part of my life in the next six years.  The future of the overall situation of the nation where I breathe is at stake.  And the thought of Duterte being my President makes me shiver!  That is why in my humble effort, I would try to dissuade people from voting for Duterte.

I know that (like my unbending illogical adoration towards Madonna) the Duterte fanatics will never, in any way reverse or even bend their fanaticism towards Mr. Duterte.  And in case Duterte is proclaimed the President, I would just have to accept and assent to the impending menacing circumstances.

I will most probably lynched or will have to shower offensive slurs in the next couple of days because of this piece of writing – because Duterte diehards can somewhat be rude, insulting and odious – but I truly hope and pray that Duterte fans are outnumbered by voters who chose a different candidate.

Aside from being the same on being illogical, unbending and absurd. I just hope that Duterte fanatics are outnumbered, the same way that I being a Madonna fan is outnumbered.

Santa Maria!!! Hwag naman sana!!!!

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With the present psyche of the Philippine society being backed up by extreme and ambiguous religious belief, I have long accepted the fact that legalizing same sex marriage in this country would be so remote.  Thus, asking a famous boxer and part-time politician in a country where the majority of its populace are unfortunately not in the side of reason, if he agrees or disagrees on same sex marriage is nothing but pointless.  The system will not change in case he agrees with same sex-marriage anyway.

There has been a lot of people who opposes same sex marriage but these people were prudent and human enough not to compare LGBT people to being inferior to animals.  And though I disagree with them, I respected these people’s stance. But what broke my heart was Manny Pacquiao’s cruel statement of comparing the LGBT to being worse than animals.

the personalized shirt i would use during boxing events of manny. i don't know what to do with it now... its eating some precious space nn my cabinet...

the proof of my being a fan. the personalized shirt i would use during boxing events of manny. i don’t know what to do with it now… its eating some precious space in my cabinet…

Manny Pacquiao uttering this insensitive and idiotic idea made my respect for him simply fade away.  My being a fan simply vanished out into smithereens.  He is definitely awful and is one serious disappointment.  To those who think that what he said was okay, I’m sorry to all of you because Manny himself know that he was mistaken.  He would not apologize if he knows that he was not off beam.

Yeah, he has apologized but sorry the emotionally wounding damage has been done and though it may heal (hopefully soon), forever will remain one ugly scar.

And from the last time I checked prior to Mr. Pacquiao’s atrocious statement, my married LGBT friends who are living in a peaceful and productive lives has not in any way hurt or even negatively affected the boxing and political career of Mr. Pacquiao.  I don’t see the reason why he would disappointingly hurt them then?

Sabi nga ni Manang Madonna… “Bits get op may powl”!

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balikbayan boxIn the past days, the undeniable posts from a lot of my Facebook friends is about their fury towards the Bureau of Customs’ implementation of the rule regarding random inspection of Balikbayan Boxes being sent by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

With the abundant and amplified posts of people on social media about their resentment regarding this ruling, it can simply be deduced that this new ruling is one hell of an epic fail of a move from BOC.    This failure is so imminent and forthcoming because people from Bureau of Customs are simply not the type of people to be trusted.  They actually have quite built such a despicable reputation for themselves.  Because of the protracted history of corruption, pilferage and embezzlement in the bureau of customs, people working in this bureau are simply the last souls in the planet to be trusted by the overseas Filipino workers.

What is so utterly dense about this decision is that the bureau’s main aim is to catch big illegal smugglers out from the regular people’s parcels and packages.  When in fact, big time smugglers can actually enter their illegal goods in mall-sized amounts via cargo ships.  BOC people can’t seem to see the freaking cargo ship in front of them – containing fake rice, household trash from Canada, high-end luxury cars from Europe, oil and fuel from Middle East and deadly drugs from China — yet they choose to look into the small and meager balikabayan boxes.

A conceited Philippine senator even agreed on opening the boxes but suggested that it would have to be under the watch of a CCTV camera.  Such proposal though tolerable is still not acceptable because, this means that BOC people would still have to open a private property.  The best solution I suppose is for BOC to purchase high tech x-ray and scanning machines similar to the ones found in the airports so that no boxes would have to be opened up.balikbayan boxes 2

And if they find expensive shoes or pricey designer bags in these boxes, I suppose these items need not be charged with irrational taxes.  Bureau of Customs must realize how much sweat and blood has already been shed by the desolate OFW so as to bring joy to their loved ones back home.  BOC people should also realize that OFW sending or bringing these high ticket items is the OFWs few possible channels in compensating for the time that was lost on being together with his or her family.  I know this because I myself grew up receiving these types of items from my father who worked his butts off in the Middle East during the ‘70s and 80’s.

It cannot also be denied that a lot of Facebook posts suggests that OFWs should temporarily cease sending their hard-earned goods to their loved ones until the Bureau of Customs has fixed this unwise and ridiculous ruling.  This definitely would create hatred and animosity not only by the OFWs but also their loved ones here in the country not only towards BOC but throughout the present administration itself.

Two words of advice to BOC: Fix It!

Buwaya lang ang peg!

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Living in the Philippines today has been very interesting.  In May 2016, the Philippine populace will exercise its right to suffrage so as to elect the next Chief Executive of the land.  As of this writing, there are two hot contenders who already expressed their interest, Mr. Jejomar Binay and Mr. Mar Roxas.  No other hot and interesting contender yet except for this two has stepped forward to express their intention of running.

Since Senator Alan Peter Cayetano seem not running, and if the election will be held at this very point in time, I would have to choose of course the “lesser evil”.  Honestly, I would vote anyone running for President except for Mr. Binay.   Mr. Binay’s character, reputation and even temperament has gone so interestingly shady.  And I would not lay my country’s chance, future and interest on those points and attributes.

mar roxas  (photo grabbed from mar roxas' facebook page)

mar roxas
(photo grabbed from mar roxas’ facebook page)

Therefore, I would have to choose Mr. Mar Roxas at this point in time.  For me Mr. Roxas seem sincere yet misunderstood.  Unfortunately though, his deep sincerity and gentlemanly manners has twistedly been perceived by public as being a feeble, a limp and an inadequate.  Mr. Roxas for what I know has gone the rounds of various government posts.  So it can therefore be assumed that he knows the job.  In the eyes of a human resource practitioner (like me), he simply has gone through a lot of ‘cross-trainings’.

Mar Roxas actually gained lots of my respect when he forgo of his desire to become the President five years ago when he instead endorsed Pnoy Aquino to run.  And the rest of the last five years has been an interesting history.

Now, there are other contenders that the vehement public is still waiting to know if they would be running or not.  Two well-liked and interesting contenders are Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

I personally believe in lots of political science personalities’ analyses that the more candidates there are, the more chances that Mr. Binay will win.  This is because the supposed solid anti-Binay vote from among all these camps of candidates will be dispersed.  But if there will only be one candidate going against Binay, the anti-Binay vote will remain robust, solid and sturdy.

working or candy crush? hahaha!

working or candy crush? hahaha!

This then will test the authenticity of Poe’s and Duterte’s desires for the country.  Besides, both admit that Mar Roxas is indeed qualified.  Would they be willing to forgo their personal cravings of becoming the President and let Roxas be their candidate so as to collapse an impending fraud, corruption and dynasty?  Would they be inclined to sacrifice their aspiration of heading the whole country like what Mar Roxas did five years ago?

The interesting answers to these interesting question will soon be answered. At present and at this very interesting hour of interesting Philippines, for me, the interesting slogan is “Oras Na, Roxas Na!

Abangan and mga susunod na kabanata…

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I often suffer from high levels of laziness.  And when I do, I would simply lie down on my bed and do nothing but surf the net.  Usually, my surfing the net would lead me to either watch an indie short film or watch the circus-like hearings and privilege speeches done at the Philippine Senate as downloaded on YouTube.

alan peter cayetano

alan peter cayetano

I am glad to note that out from watching those giddy senate hearings and speeches I am able to contemplate and deduce who shall be the candidate whom I will vote for in the upcoming Philippine presidential election.  Thus, if the election will be held tomorrow, I would vote for Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

The Philippines as a government already has a lot of development strategies and economic plans.  Some of which will be left fragmentary and incomplete while some will be left untouched/un-started by the present administration.  And for these developments to continue, another individual who is held beyond suspicion of wicked wrongdoings and malicious agenda is needed.  Thankfully, there is one candidate that exists, thus, the present President need not contemplate whether to stay in power or not beyond 2016.

Cayetano as I observed has consistently pays respect when respect is due yet attacks when attack calls for it.  What is so impressive about his style of attacking is that it is never below the belt and is conveyed in a very calm yet precise manner. The guy is simply an exemplification of buckets-full of wit!

His cerebral reasoning, critical debates, imaginative conjectures and significant inferences are usually freakin’ impressive.  Though he confessed in one of the senate hearings that he is hikain (asthmatic), he is a no non-sense guy.

alanpetercayetanoCayetano is always extremely prepared, thus an impeccable professionalism.  He speaks good Filipino and English languages.  He is fairly aesthetically presentable dude (but I think he needs to hit the gym like his siblings).  He loves the Philippines.  And the most important of all he looks and sounds sincere.

Unlike my (thankfully) level of sluggishness and indolence that is very variable and erratic, Alan’s level of integrity and moral ascendancy (thankfully too) seems unswerving.  I know that my candidate for the highest post of this nation is still subject to change.  But may it be in 2016 or not, I can see the future of the Philippines in this guy’s hand.

O ayan prodaktib pa din ang paghila-hilata ko…

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.