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Monthly Archives: September 2009

After One Month Of Hell At Sea, Four Missing Fishermen Were Rescued

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The below story is simply amazing!

4 fishermen rescued after drifting at sea for 1 month
09/19/2009 | 05:28 PM

More than a month of hell finally ended for four Palawan fishermen, who were rescued off Hinoba-an town in Negros Occidental province.

A report on Visayan Daily Star said the four had been drifting at sea since Aug. 10, and were rescued after a fisherman saw them.

Hinoba-an town administrator designate Jose Candulizas identified the four as Tualot Libating, 43, owner operator of the boat; Ameril Culele, 21; Tonton Palayu, 14; and Jee Can, 14.

All the four were haggard and thin when they were rescued, Candulizas added.

He said the four were passengers of MV Sea Baby Wing and were from Indalawan village in Balabac town in Palawan.

Candulizas said Rogelio Jimenez, a fisherman of Culipapa village in Hinoba-an, was in Cagayancillo waters between Hinoba-an and Palawan when he saw the four fishermen drifting on their pumpboat, and towed them back to Hinoba-an.

National Disaster Coordinating Council spokesman Anthony Golez Jr. said he will assist the four fishermen in getting back to Palawan.

The Hinoba-an town government has provided them with food, medical assistance and clothing, Candulizas said.

Investigation showed the four left Balabac Aug. 10. After four hours at sea they developed engine trouble.

The fishermen said the “amihan” winds pushed their vessel towards Vietnam and the south “habagat” winds pushed them back into Philippine waters.

According to them, they ate whatever they could catch and drank rainwater. (GMANews.TV)

When nobody else came to find them, it was God who did the work Himself (using the habagat winds).

And you know what else is amazing? The Philippine Coastguard DID NOT DO ANYTHING TO FIND THEM. Instead, they were ACCIDENTALLY FOUND drifting at sea by a fellow fisherman.

What if it happened to Arroyo? Of course, the answer is obvious. So it appears that in this administration, the common man’s life and safety is disregarded almost completely.

If ever GMA gets lost at sea, she'll do fine. No need to panic.

If ever GMA gets lost at sea, she'll do fine. No need to panic.

For Dacer’s Family, Erap Is It

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ERAP-DACER-LACSON

Ping Lacson won vs Erap in local politics’ latest mudslinging.

Lacson’s privilege speech last Monday help made murdered publicist Bubby Dacer’s family to consider the wily senator as a possible state witness against the one who masterminded the grisly crime.

“We are not persecuting anyone. We are after the mastermind behind the crime. We are open to everything that will lead to the bringing to justice of the killers of Dacer,” said Atty. Demetrio Custodio, lawyer of Bubby’s daughters.

But of course, it is obvious that Erap is all in their minds. The poor opposition leader has been prejudged once again.

And Lacson is all smiles together with Arroyo, toasting their premature victory wineglasses in the air.

Good Procurement, Good Governance — Our Last Resort Against Corruption

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Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

This is already old news, but it’s still worthy reading:

OVERPRICE CONTROVERSY
DepEd suspends order of noodles

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education has suspended its purchase of P427 million worth of instant noodles from a supplier amid allegations raised in a Senate hearing that the food items were overpriced and lacked nutritive value.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus also informed Senator Mar Roxas, chair of the education committee, in a May 11 letter that he has also ordered a review of the department’s school feeding program.

The Roxas committee is leading the Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced instant noodles fortified with “malunggay” (Moringa sp.) and eggs that Jeverps Manufacturing Corp. has been supplying the DepEd.

Lapus said the review of the school feeding program would be conducted with the help of independent experts “with the objective of resolving questions such as nutritional content, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of field implementation.” The review is supposed to finish by next month.

Saying he was glad that Lapus had suspended the signing of the contract with Jeverps, Roxas on Tuesday announced that his committee would defer the inquiry into the controversy but would monitor the review of the school feeding program.

Roxas said the two hearings showed that the Jeverps instant noodles priced at P22 for each 100-gram packet was overpriced when compared to other noodles in the market.

He said Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. had testified that their instant noodles cost P3.50 per pack, not including the costs for flavoring, enhancements and packaging.

At the hearing, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked how Jeverps would be able to get its supply of malunggay to produce 19 million instant noodle packs for the DepEd.

“I am not aware of any large-scale production of malunggay,” Enrile said.

Enrile later told reporters he doubted whether Jeverps had a supplier of malunggay.

“It casts doubt on the quality of the products being marketed with malunggay content,” Enrile said.

Roxas said he found it puzzling that the big noodle makers like Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. were not aware of the DepEd’s bidding of contracts.

URC officials said they were invited by the DepEd to bid for its school feeding program only once in 2007. Nestlé officials said they did not get any invitation at all.

DepEd officials said the bidding for the noodle-supply contract was published in the newspapers.

It was learned at the hearing that Jeverps has been paid more than P750 million as a supplier of the DepEd’s Food for School Program for 800,000 first-grade and pre-school students in the past few years. (from Inquirer.net)

Since joining the eProcurement industry last January, I realized that eProcurement is the best solution to solve bad procurement practices in the Philippines.

Transprocure‘s Charlie Villaseñor, Asia’s eProcurement guru, is correct: with good procurement comes good governance. And since that is not the case with the Philippine government (as can be gleaned from the above report), it forced an angry military officer to rebel against it. That military officer is Antonio Trillanes IV who is now a detained Senator. Trillanes was a former procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command of the Philippine Navy. In that position, he successfully reformed his institution’s procurement system resulting to a savings of more than four million pesos. In that same position, he was able to witness first hand the massive corruption in the Philippine Navy’s procurement system — and that was just the tip of the presidential iceberg. Trillanes was against forces more powerful than him, but that didn’t stop him to rise up in arms. The rest is Oakwood history.

eProcurement enhances and promotes transparency in government contracts and biddings. According to David Magno, a Project Manager for Hubwoo, there has been prevailing news that the government had already implemented an eProcurement system throughout its bureaucracy. But suppliers got discontented over the system’s ineffective process, thus ending eProcurement’s spur of the moment in our government around four years ago. Hopefully, our current crop of presidential hopefuls (from Gilbert Teodoro to Noynoy Aquino III) will include in their program of government ways to properly and strictly deploy and implement eProcurement technology not only in all government departments but in all major businesses as well. This will help not only in curbing corruption, it will also help institutions in garnering massive financial savings — a potential boon for our economy. San Miguel Corporation is one best example.

Hubwoo‘s suite of solutions should be brought and implemented here in the Philippines. Although Hubwoo started only a decade ago, it is meticulously handled by management experts who are well-versed, experienced, and thoroughly exposed in the world of eProcurement. Furthermore, Hubwoo provides a fully integrated suite of tools and services, delivered as-a-service to companies. Impressively, it also boasts of the first SAP® global BPO partnership dedicated solely to procurement Right now, the French-based company is holding various roadshow events in the US and Europe to help explain more what its business is all about. Hopefully, it would be able to do the same here in Asia, ESPECIALLY the Philippines.

If Hubwoo won’t be able to solve the problem of corruption in our government’s and businesses’ procurement processes, THEN NOTHING WILL.

Related links:

eProcurement in the Philippines
Law review to improve e-procurement efficiency in Philippines

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

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I've finally made a decision!

I've finally made a decision!

Around two months ago, I asked what should be the appropriate title for this latest English-language weblog of mine. I got no response, hahaha!

Oh well, the only thing that’s prevalent is change. So there.

From now on, this weblog is known as FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES. Yeah, now with an “e” for obvious (and “pa-cute”) reasons. What a groundbreaking day!

See you tomorrow!

Our Senate Has Lost It…

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SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Once upon a time, the august halls of the Philippine Senate was just that — august. Parliamentary procedure and language were at the helm, respected, practised. Back in the days when speeches, debates, and other deliberations were done in the Spanish language, each and every Senator had the highest respect for each other and for their individual selves. Although some of them do not agree on each other regarding various national issues, they do not in any way regarded each other as enemies even if their respective political parties were warring against each other.

Gone are the days of “old school parliamentary talk”. What we hear most of the time from our current crop of senators are pure grandstanding of the highest order, not to mention ad hominem attacks. Privilege speeches are now meant to augment one’s stature and to attack the character of the persons whom they loathe. But during their time, Claro M. Recto, Cipriano Primicias, Manuel Briones, Eulogio A. Rodríguez, Sr., Mariano Jesús Cuenco, Lorenzo Sumúlong (an uncle of President Cory Aquino), Enrique Magalona (a fierce defender of the Spanish language; grandfather of FrancisM), Rogelio de la Rosa, and a host of other Spanish-speaking gentlemen of the old school awed the Filipino masses with their shining personas of respectability and style through their speeches and how they carried themselves. Their lifestyle were neither ostentatious nor severe. They were a class of their own.

During and after elections, whether or not controversies have hounded the election procedures, these gentlemen of the old school still kept their cool toward each other. In argumentation and debate, intelligent sarcasm is what they used, making their minds even sharper and poetic. Nowadays, our senators are more straightforward to the point that they are already losing the respectability of what a senator should really be. In argumentation and rhetoric, one should be poetic.

Speaking of poetic, many senators of past years were poets in the Spanish language. But our generation’s senators couldn’t even compose a verse in English. What we have now are actors, product endorsers, and a bunch of other interesting characters fit for entertainment.

Our Senate has lost it…

Status Tagging Now Available In Facebook!

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What’s on your mind?

@Pepe Alas is simply fabulous.”

In order to do status tagging in Facebook, all you have to do is put the “@” sign right before the name of anything you’re connected to in the world’s most popular social networking website: friends, pages that you’re a fan of, and events that you’re invited to.

Randi Zuckerberg

Randi Zuckerberg


Randi “The Face of Facebook” Zuckerberg will teach you how and explain more about this in the following video (click the link to view): CNN Video

For sure, this Facebook technology will soon become a part of life of countless Filipino facebookers.

Pepe “The Book of Facebook” Alas is signing off for today! ¡Hasta mañana! c”,)

Lacson’s Delayed Truth

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Senator Lacson should answer this:

Why did it take almost a decade for him to tell “the truth” about Joseph Estrada’s alleged corruption during the latter’s short-lived and ill-fated term?

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday exposed former President Joseph Estrada’s extensive involvement in the illegal numbers game “jueteng,” rice smuggling, and “other misdeeds” during his short-lived administration from 1998 to early 2001.

In a privilege speech, Lacson also hinted Estrada may have a hand in the 2000 murders of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

Lacson said Estrada used to issue orders directly to his police officers way back when Lacson was still the chief of the Philippine National Police.

The top police official during Estrada’s time did not say it outright but his take on Estrada’s relationship with the PNP seems to buttress the claim of state witness and former police official Cezar Mancao II that Estrada approved Operation Delta, the alleged plan to liquidate Dacer.

“(I) have personal knowledge on this, during his presidency, he was giving direct orders and instructions deep into the layers of the entire government bureaucracy, the PNP, and Presidential Anti Organized Crime Task Force,” Lacson told fellow senators.

So there. He has personal knowledge of Erap’s “misdeeds”. And he had to wait for a falling out between him and Erap to make him talk (oh boy, another José de Venecia in the making).

Justice delayed is justice denied. And so it is with the truth, Senator Lacson. You should know that. You’re older than your kids.

Click here for more Lacson lies, err, I mean testimonies, hehehe…

"I got too busy with my facial ads that's why I had to sideline The Truth for awhile."

♥ Happy 10th Year Anniversary, Dear Wifey! ♥

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Our first photo together when we were still in college (circa 1999).

Our first photo together, taken at her sister's place in Barrio Molino, Bacoor, Cavite, during our college days (circa 1999).

¡Feliz décimo aniversario, mi amor, mi corazón, y mi vida — Yeyette Perey de Alas! ♥♥♥Qué estemos juntos para siempre, con nuestros cuatro niños bonitos, dentro los abrazos del Señor Dios.♥♥♥

Celebrating A Dear Friend’s 73rd Birthday

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Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera, hombre renacentista

Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera, hombre renacentista

Today marks the 73rd year that Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera has been treading the earth. And upon meeting him inside his book-filled room this afternoon together with my wife, I immediately commented that he’s already 37 years old — ¡al revés! LOL!!!

Me and Señor Gómez go a long way. We’ve known each other for the past 12 years. He was one of my instructors back in Adamson University. It was he who opened my eyes to the twisted reality that is Philippine history and the existing language crisis that the Philippines is suffering from for decades since the American invasion of our islands back in 1898. Señor Gómez gave me all the opportunity that I could get to become a writer like him. He has made me feel welcome everytime I visit his house in Barrio de la Paz, Ciudad de Macati. He even once offered me and my young family to live with him back in 2003.

Throughout the years that I’ve come to know him —and his magnificent body of literature— I was faced with the realization that I’ve been working with a virtual national treasure; he deserves to become one of our country’s National Artists. I still have many things to write about him and his obras: books, flamenco activities, etc. Unfortunately, I’m too sleepy to even continue typing right now (been awake since 8:00 PM last night). But one thing’s for sure: this septuagenarian intellectual powerhorse will outlive most of us. If diplomat León Mª Guerrero considered Rizal as The First Filipino, I therefore call Señor Gómez as The Last Filipino, the quintessential one.

From left to right: My wife, Maridel Coching, Maggie de la Riva, Sr. Gómez, Mary Anne Almonte, Ana María Andaya, Valerie Devulder, and Kenneth Gaerlán. I'm right behind these fellow Spanish speakers.

From left to right: My wife, Maridel Coching, Maggie de la Riva, Sr. Gómez, Mary Anne Almonte, Ana María Andaya, Valerie Devulder, and Kenneth Gaerlán. I'm right behind these fellow Spanish speakers.

Guillermo Gómez Ordóñez, Me, Yeyette, and Venus Gómez

Guillermo Gómez Ordóñez, Me, Yeyette, and Venus Gómez

Valerie Isabel Devulder and Yeyette Perey de Alas

Valerie Isabel Devulder and Yeyette Perey de Alas

Mary Anne Almonte and Kenneth Gaerlán, two of Sr. Gómez's flamenco protegés

Mary Anne Almonte and Kenneth Gaerlán, two of Sr. Gómez's flamenco protegés

More photos in ALAS FILIPINAS and in my Facebook account! Related Links: Guillermo Gómez Rivera — FILHISPÁNICO Guillermo Gómez Ordóñez — ECHE..BLAH..BLAH Valerie Isabel Devulder — VALERIE ISABEL DEVULDER

NBA Legends Destroy Their PBA Counterparts

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As expected, the NBA Legends did made “legends” out of our much reverred PBA veterans last night at the Big Dome.

The NBA Asia Challenge ended with a final score of 109-86 in favor of the NBA “invaders”.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney during the ceremonial toss.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney during the ceremonial toss.

Despite the loss, it wasn’t really a humiliating defeat. Our boys put up a good and respectable fight in the beginning. “The Captain” Alvin Patrimonio nailed a trey in his first attempt. Then the “Triggerman” Allan Caidic took over and wowed the audience (including the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was with the coaching staff of the NBA Legends) with five consecutive three-pointers in the first quarter — exactly the kind of deadly accuracy which made him a household name in local basketball a few years back.

The PBA team even led by a point during that quarter: 26-25.

Halftime score was a close 46-41 in favor of the American squad. And at the start of the second half, that was when they started to pull away from the Filipinos.

But the bottomline is that players from both sides simply had fun playing for their fans. All they did out there was purely for entertainment. It was a friendly match which relaxed a politically fed-up audience.

Of course, everybody knew in the first place that Filipino cagers do not stand a chance against those who invented the game of basketball. But if it where sipà or patintero, well, it would’ve been a different story, hehe!

Scores:
NBA Generations 109—Dominique Wilkins 28, Marcus Hubbard 18, Chris Ellis 11, Robert Horry 10, Billy Thomas 9, Russell Robinson 8, Derrick Dial 8, Tim Hardaway 7, Vlade Divac 6, Clarence Smith 4.

PBA All-Stars 86—Allan Caidic 15, Willie Miller 14, Dondon Hontiveros 10, Alvin Patrimonio 9, Ronnie Magsanoc 8, Enrico Villanueva 8, Benjie Parás 7, Arwind Santos 5, Joseph Yeo 5, Asi Taulava 3, Marc Pingris 2, Kenneth Duremdes 0, Wynne Arboleda 0, Sonny Thoss 0, Jay-R Reyes 0.

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