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Daily Archives: August 23, 2009

PNP: No More Kidnap-For-Ransom Groups (¿No Más Competencia?)

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The country's FINEST!!! Do FINEST and SLIMIEST rhyme? They do... HEY! I'm just rhyming, OK?!

The country's FINEST!!! Do FINEST and SLIMIEST rhyme? They do... HEY! I'm just rhyming, OK?! reports that big kidnap-for-ransom gangs are a thing of the past. This, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP):

“Wala na halos yung mga dreaded at notorious organized crime groups. Halos accounted for at nakakulong na sila [while] undergoing trial,” Senior Superintendent Leonardo Espina said in a radio interview.

Somehow, I fear a successful monopoly.


The Palace Simply Fears Noynoy

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This is‘s headline posted just this afternoon (no thanks to Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar):

Palace to Noynoy: Be your own man

Here’s what I suggest to Senator Noynoy:

Noynoy to GMA: Be a president

Deputy presidential spokesman Gary Olivar: "Be a man and shut up!"

Or better yet:

Noynoy to Olivar: Be a man!

Wordpress Connectivity Problem?

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I had a momentary scare just a few minutes ago. It’s because I wasn’t able to access this English-language blog of mine. Darn, I’ve already posted more than 30 blogposts, and even included unpublished essays and some poems!

This connectivity problem lasted for almost 10 minutes or so. Surely, it wasn’t an internet connectivity issue because I was surfing the net when it happened. I was able to access other websites without any hassle. But just to make sure, I sent my friend April Katigbak (through the chat application in Facebook) the link for FILIPINO SCRIBBLES just to check if the connection problem is on my laptop. But moments later, she replied and told me that she couldn’t access the page as well (the infamous “page cannot be displayed” also appeared on her screen).

I tried visiting WITH ONE’S PAST, TRAVELER ON FOOT, and FLESH ASIA DAILY (FAD 3.0). I also tried accessing WORDPRESS itself — but I couldn’t. I suddenly felt weak, ready to puke out the late lunch I was eating. The problem reminded me of what happened to Arnold’s WITH ONE’S PAST last year; it somehow got deleted while he was tweaking it. But I wasn’t tweaking mine!

I tried connecting to these WORDPRESS sites several times. Finally, I was able to get hold of FAD 3.0 but with much difficulty. I was still alarmed, though, because although FAD 3.0 is powered by WORDPRESS, the domain is already owned by JB Lazarte whereas WITH ONE’S PAST and TRAVELER ON FOOT are still hosted for free.

My wife was getting concerned, too, because she knows how important my writings are to me. She even thought that maybe the IT people of Malacañang did something to close it down (haha!) Too bad, I don’t have copies of what I wrote anymore. So I started to write fear-filled messages on my Facebook account’s Wall ( is missing…” and “Holy smokes! WordPress cannot be accessed! I’m visiting other wordpress weblogs — THEY COULD NOT BE ACCESSED!!!”)

Then, before I thought of banging my face across my laptop monitor, I was finally able to connect to FILIPINO SCRIBBLES and to other WORDPRESS sites. April also replied to one of my Facebook posts, confirming that she can already access my blog.

Whew! Talk about scary.

WORDPRESS, what in blue blazes happened? Could you please explain???!!!

Wordpress has just scared the hell out of me!

Wordpress has just scared the hell out of me!

And to other bloggers who read this, I have a friendly reminder: make sure that you have an extra copy of each and every article that you plan to post in your respective blogs, so just in case something like this happens, there won’t be any suicidal thoughts.

Applying Anne Frank’s Thoughts on the National Scene

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The below essay was written sometime in 2002 when I was still in college.

I still remember the night when I was trying to send it via email to the contest authorities. I was in some internet shop in Pásay City where I used to live when me and my wife still only had one child. I was trying to beat the deadline; the submission was due in less than an hour. But stupid me, I was still unfamiliar in using most of Yahoo‘s gadgets, especially in attaching files. Thus, I wasn’t able to send the essay. Had I sent it successfully, it would’ve won first prize hands down, LOL!!!

Here it is…

Anne Frank (1929-1945), a victim of man's classic stupidity.

Anne Frank (1929-1945), a victim of man's classic stupidity.

José Mario S. Alas

“I don’t believe that the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago!“

Such words, such thoughts, written by so young a girl, could easily stir such an emotion of amazement by those who read the excerpt from that child’s war-time diary. Yet a sentiment of pity would also bubble from within when the reader realizes that the diary from which the statement is taken was written by that same girl who was herself a victim of war’s conflagratory effects.

That diary, written by a keen, young girl called Anne Frank, has survived not only that war, but has also survived time up to today’s global war-paranoid atmosphere. And this very particular entry from little Anne poses a question so crucial for every nation, particularly the Philippines, involved in national and international disturbances.

Here in the Philippines, little Anne’s indignant words that even the common man is every bit as guilty in relation to the existence of conflicts rings true. Our country, since its bold declaration of a Third Republic right after the Second World War, has had countless blunders and bloodshed. This is not to say that such a sad and humiliating reality is unique in our country alone, but this is an opportune time to unveil its maladies in the light of a young child’s philosophy that had contemplated on human nature within the confines of a hidden refuge away from a rampaging Holocaust.

Take for example the recent events that took place during the regime of ousted president Joseph Estrada. During the campaign season for the 1998 national elections, the whole Filipino electorate was pathetically divided, and it was aggravated further by the anti- and pro-Estradas such as the Church, the elite, Leftist and Rightist elements, and other troublemongers. Estrada who was undoubtedly very popular among the majority of the masses, apparently basked on his new-found national glamour. And he himself took advantage of the situation, making promises here and there, even though some of them were obviously hollow or pies-in-the-sky. It appears that such actions are wont to be committed by every aspiring national leader.

But where is the blunder here made by the common Filipino? Well, the question “where did we go wrong” was only realized during the last days of Estrada’s troubled regime, during the calls for his ouster, and the status of the government in between two people powers: EDSA 2 and EDSA 3.

It was a period of uncertainty and fear. The people have realized how flimsy their government was, and how corrupted and untrustworthy the governance of these islands is executed. But, to use again Anne Frank’s exceptional assessment of society’s failures as well as the advantageous pitfalls perpetrated by scheming individuals in power, it is perhaps better for the common Filipino to stop for a while and ask himself “where did I go wrong?”

Every Filipino citizen who is able to contribute his services for the sake of the Motherland has a hand in the course of the country’s journey towards redemption. It is everybody’s responsibility on how to steer the course of the Philippines towards the right path. It is a cowardly, irresponsible, and unpatriotic excuse if one will say that it is solely the job of politicians and other national leaders.

Such a coarse excuse is now prevalent among the masses. It is quite unfortunate that even the youth, whom national hero José Rizal hoped to be at the forefront of social change, has been nonchalant about this. One reason to blame for this defect is due to the fact that education is on a widespread slump. The masses, especially the youth, has abused their time for self-enrichment, and are thoroughly contented with the ease, comfort, and pleasure that technology brings with it. They no longer care to take part in the debates over current issues regarding social concerns. What they care about are only themselves. It is not enough to be caring and thoughtful solely towards family relations and friends. Thus, it is selfish if such affectionate sentiments are not shared with the country.

Education is the solution to all these mishaps and chaos. If only the Filipino masses were efficiently educated, not just academically but socially as well, then nothing like the Estrada and post-Estrada tragedies would have happened. Furthermore, this education on self-appraisal should be emphasized so as to give political and social maturity in the minds of the Filipinos.

We can still make it before next year’s national election arrives. It’s not enough to say that we want to believe that the system is right. If there are defects, then we should change it no matter what. The best way to give it a first shot is to be more scrupulously participative in the 2004 elections. This, however, has not yet been done before.

In capsule, we shouldn’t wait for us to experience the sufferings of Anne Frank during the last global war before we begin to think like her.


A few days from now (September 1), the world will commemorate World War II. It was during these bloody years when Anne experienced the brutality of humanity. May we never have another stupid war.

Stupid war? Hmmm… that sounds redundant already.

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