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2009 Filipino Of The Year — The Filipino People!

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In just a few hours, 2009 will end. A new year shall arrive. And I thought what better way to end 2009 than by honoring the country’s most respected individual or group, particularly those who made headlines, gained prominence, and brought honors for the motherland. I believe it’s also a good idea to do this every year. So allow me to make it a tradition, my humble way of honoring annually the best that this country has to offer.

The award for the 2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR goes to none other than — THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!

2009 Filipino of the Year Award goes to the whole Filipino nation! Take a bow, paisanos!

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS have many candidates for this humble award.

First off on top of the list is our 1986 EDSA heroine, the late President María Corazón S. Cojuangco vda. de Aquino, popularly known as Cory Aquino, who passed away last August 1. Her imminent death due to colon cancer brought back the so-called “Cory Magic” (the phenomenon which toppled the Marcos dictatorship) to the Filipinos and paved the way for the sudden and unexpected rise of her quiescent son, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Noynoy took advantage of this Cory Magic and ran for the presidency. Right now, he is on top of the surveys for the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections.

We also have Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiáo, champion athlete, number one pound-for-pound boxer, and a political wannabe. His recent victory over Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto last 14 November 2009 eventually made him the first boxer in history to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions, prompting famous and legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum to declare that “Pacquiáo is the greatest boxer I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all, including Ali, Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard.” Even boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is terrified to square it off against Pacman. But all this stardom might disadvantage him once he rejoins the dirty world of politics next year.

Efren Gerónimo Peñaflorida, Jr. is another breakthrough. The founder of Dynamic Teen Company won recognition last November 22 when he was named as the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year for his commendable “pushcart classroom” (he calls it Kariton Klasrum) aimed at educating poor children and to keep them away from the corruption of the streets.

Of course, YouTube sensation Charmaine Clarice “Charice” Pempengco shouldn’t be left out. The petite singing sensation from San Pedro, La Laguna earned the admiration of millions of people who saw her astounding vocal exhibitions on the internet. More importantly, she gained fame in the US, the entertainment capital of the world, via The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show (even Oprah was teary-eyed). Many singing legends in the US took notice of her talent, particularly Celine Dion (they even sang together in a New York City concert!). There were also reports claiming that Charice would have been included in Michael Jackson’s This Is It series of concerts had it not for the King of Pop’s untimely demise.

The abovementioned Filipinos have brought honor and pride to the Filipino race. It is of course worthy to honor each and every one of them as this year’s Filipino of the Year.

However, I just couldn’t ignore the Filipino people as a whole.

Yes, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and ALAS FILIPINAS would like to declare the whole Filipino Nation as this year’s winner of the 2009 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR Award. And this is because of the immense outpouring of support that they gave to their fellow Filipinos who were victimized by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

It was during these troubling moments when the Filipino Nation’s sense of intestinal fortitude –not to mention unity– was tested yet again. Metro Manila was crippled by massive and destructive flash floods never before seen in its history. Seventy five percent of the nation’s capital –including surrounding provinces– was inundated by floodwaters, displacing thousands of families and killing scores of unsuspecting people. Typhoon Ondoy’s backlash continued weeks and even months after the killer floods. But the Filipinos’ unique spirit of bayanihan reigned supreme. Everybody –regardless of social standing, religious belief, race, or political inclinations– helped out in the tragedy by donating food, clothing, money for temporary shelter, basic necessities, etc. Political rivalries were ignored for the sake of the victims. The rich showed that not all of them are stingy and greedy. Even celebrities were seen wallowing in the floodwaters to assist those who were stuck in the water. Individual and private donors were always visible in evacuation centers. Every one made their share.

It is times like these which makes me feel so damn proud to be a Filipino!!!

To the Filipino Nation, take a bow. You are God’s precious race!

See you again next year for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES‘ and ALAS FILIPINAS‘ choice for 2010 FILIPINO OF THE YEAR!

May everybody have an exciting New Year’s Eve!

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Three pre-Christmas tragedies

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Sadly, three tragedies hit the Philippines moments before Christmas day…

1.) Mayón Volcano has been terrorizing natives of Albay PHIVOLCS scientists for months. Thousands of families have already been evacuated from their homes to protect them from the volcano’s impending wrath. Now, PHIVOLCS declared that it’s only a matter of days –or even hours– before the World’s Most Perfect Cone displays its fiery power.

2.) Yesterday, more than 1,000 families from both cities of Pásay and Macati lost their homes from a monstrous flame. The blaze started at around 10 A.M. in a house on Bonifacio Street in Barangay Bangkal, Macati City, after its owner left an open stove unattended. This means that countless residents from the two mentioned cities might end up experiencing Christmas Eve without comfortable roofs above them.

3.) And just this morning, around 2:30 A.M., at least three people were killed and at least 24 others were still reportedly missing after a passenger ferry smashed into a fishing boat off the coast of Maragondón, Cavite.

Heartbreaking news indeed.

The year 2009 is overwhelmed with disasters, natural or manmade. The most memorable were the back-to-back typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng which wreaked havoc in Metro Manila and much of Luzón. As the year is about to end, Filipinos are hoping for brighter days ahead.

True, there is no such thing as a perfect day. There is no perfect month. And each year, it’s impossible for tragedy not to strike. Be that as it may, Filipinos are already strengthened by the very tragedies that have smothered them. The Filipino race is a resilient and sturdy race. No amount of tragedy will ever bring us down.

Christmas cheer shall continue no matter what.

Gibo-Gwen tandem: a powerhouse duo? Says who?

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Gilbert Teodoro has Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng to thank for. Because of these tempests, he’s all over the news helping out the victims. An added plus for his presidential campaign.

Because if not for these typhoons, he would have been just another candidate.

Now comes his surprising choice for his veep:

Gibo-Gwen tandem emerging for Lakas

The tandem of Lakas-Kampi standard-bearer Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for the 2010 elections is emerging as negotiations for what the administration sees as a powerhouse team-up are nearing the homestretch, officials said yesterday.

A highly placed source privy to the talks said the negotiations to have Garcia as the Lakas-Kampi-CMD’s vice presidential candidate have reached “the crucial stage and an announcement would be made anytime soon.”

The ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD is expected to hold its national convention on Nov. 12 in Cebu where the party is set to formalize the selection of Teodoro and his running mate for the 2010 elections.

“It was Gibo (Teodoro’s nickname) who really wanted Gwen, and she was the real target,” the source said amid reports that the ruling party was wooing either Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) or Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos to be the defense chief’s running mate.

“This is a powerhouse team. They are both young and well-experienced executives with good credentials and track record. Together, that counts a lot for the reconstruction and reform in the country,” the official said. philstar.com

Gibô Teodoro seems to be in a quandary.

Gibô Teodoro seems to be in a quandary.

A powerhouse team?

In a country where popularity in surveys counts so much, this is no powerhouse team at all. Aside from being the governess of historic Cebú island, who in the blue hell is Gwen?

Only time will tell. And if they ever win in the upcoming 2010 Philippine National Elections (very possible since this hapless country of ours is still under the chains of US imperialism and its local lackeys), a big question mark will be placed on top of the victory marquee of this so-called “powerhouse team”.

Blog Action Day 2009 — Fight climate change NOW!

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Fighting climate change will save our descendants' earthly existence!

Fighting climate change will save our descendants' earthly existence!

“When you try to scientifically observe the data… we will find this year and last year as very strange years, and we can only presuppose that this is due to climate change” — Anthony Gólez (Civil defense chief), on Typhoon Ondoy

“We can’t just blame this on the rain. We know this is the worst deluge in 40 years. We know there is climate change happening, there is no debate about that. This is just a glimpse of what will happen. This is not even a super typhoon. We need to be prepared. This is just a taste of things to come. We need to have more preparations and we need to factor in climate change.” — Mark Día (Greenpeace campaigner), on the same typhoon which killed hundreds of people in less than nine hours.

And so I will make this blogpost as brief and as comprehensible as possible…

To those who are ignorant of the situation, the recent killer typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which incapacitated the capital of the Philippines and wreaked havoc in many parts of Luzón, are just that — natural calamities. It’s devastating, but it’s normal. Yes, Ondoy and Pepeng are indeed deadlier compared to other killer typhoons of the past. But it has never crossed the mind of the unitiated as to why the typhoons are getting stronger and stronger every year.

These typhoons may be natural calamities, yes. But their origins can be traced to manmade irresponsibilities. Throughout the centuries, man has innovated technology to suit himself to changes in his culture and behavior. Wittingly or unwittingly, this pursuit of “change for comfortability” has drastically altered the normal course of climatical phases throughout modern history (especially since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution).

OK. So the only thing that’s permanent is change. But climate change is one type of change that won’t be for the betterment of mankind. It’s called global warming.

Global warming has become a very familiar term during this decade. It was made even more popular by world-renowned environmentalist Al Gore in his bestselling documentary video entitled “An Inconvenient Truth”. It has made many people sit up and take notice — but only those who are educated enough to be interested in watching documentaries. That is never enough.

The educated should educate the masses because a great bulk of them are unfamiliar with the cause and effect of climate change and global warming. And besides, many of them use products that are harmful to the environment and which contribute to this abnormality that we’re experiencing with our weather. As US Vice President Joe Biden said: “I think it is manmade. I think it’s clearly manmade. If you don’t understand what the cause is, it’s virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That’s the cause. That’s why the polar icecap is melting.”

Speaking of melting icecaps, the Philippines is in grave danger since it has countless small islands that will easily disappear when the sea level eventually rises. Majestic coastlines and seaside villages and towns will be affected, displacing hundreds of thousands of Filipino families. And expect more destructive typhoons from the Pacific which will make Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng seem tame.

¡Kilos ná!

If you guys have genuine compassion for the young –our only planet’s next generation– then start acting now! By simply not littering at all outside the streets is already a BIG accomplishment, believe me. Love the environment. Love this planet. It’s the only planet we have. So…

Fight climate change! START RIGHT NOW!!!

Fight climate change!

Fight climate change!

This is FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES very brief take on BLOG ACTION DAY 2009.

After Typhoon Ondoy Comes Typhoon Pepeng. Drats — It’s Not Yet 2012, Is It?

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How I'd love to poke that eye.

How I'd love to poke that eye.

A weather forecast is a weather forecast. We’ll really never know what’s going to happen until we’re already in that situation. But it’s better to be always prepared.

According to weather pundits, Typhoon Pepeng (puta, halos capañgalan co pá) is just moments away from hitting Eastern Visayas (or is it within the archipelago already?). It has a maximum sustained winds of 135 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center — gustiness may even reach up to 160 kph! And worse, it might go northwest toward Metro Manila and Luzón, the very site which Typhoon Ondoy ravaged last Saturday. Much of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces are still devastated from the damage wrought by Ondoy; many places are still underwater. And now comes Pepeng?

Typhoon Pepeng may land any minute from now. It’s already 1:20 PM here in San Pedro, La Laguna, but it looks as if it’s already 6:00 PM. However, it doesn’t feel humid although the sun’s blotted by threatening rain clouds. Nevertheless, we still have to be prepared. Who would’ve expected that Typhoon Ondoy will pour a month’s rainfall in just a few hours?

And aside from Typhoon Pepeng, I heard that there’s another weather disturbance occuring somewhere in the Pacific. Or was it two? Tsk.

So to all Filipinos in the country who read this, store in as much canned goods / groceries as you can, and fill up water containers to the brim. Power supplies usually follow during a heavy rain. Prepare your candles, but it’s advisable to use flashlights instead since they come in handy.

And speaking of electricity, always charge your cellphone batteries. Cristine Reyes cellphone did the trick for her. It helped her save her life, as well as her loved ones’, who were with her on top of their roof during the flash flood in Marikina City.

Remember to also keep telephone numbers of organizations concerned with emergeny situations.

Of course, it is wise to store enough medicine. Remember to put your first aid kit in a place where it’s easy for you to reach. Just keep them out of your kiddos’ reach.

Update the status of your liquefied petroleum gas. Bacá malapit na paláng maúbos.

DO NOT CLOG YOUR DRAINAGE, WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE! These killer flash floods which wreaked havoc across the metropolis is mainly because of garbage which has clogged many esteros and other public waterways (I’ll try to write about this in the near future).

And last but not the least…

NEVER FORGET TO PRAY.

We’ll get through all of this murkiness. Trust me. The Filipino is a survivor. Nosotros sobreviviremos. =)

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