Showing posts from April, 2018

Be an OFW or live with dignity? For one ex-OFW, the choice was clear

OFW – a tag that I once inevitably wore but never really proud of. A few months ago, I came back to the Philippines because I got fed up with working for Arab employers. My set principles, values, and limits does not fit with how my bosses want me to work. To sum it up, I just got tired up with being treated as a “beast of burden.” Unreasonable expectations and multi-tasking, coupled with asking me to lie to some companies we were working with every now and then just to gain some advantage, are just some of the insane work practices I experienced in the Middle East.

A few weeks before my resignation and flight back to the Philippines, a lot of Filipino (and Indian) friends advised me to reconsider my decision because of the economic situation in the Philippines, i.e., low salary.

I took note of the advice and arrived at a question: “How much money is worth a man’s dignity?” For me, I’d rather be dirt poor Filipino than be treated as a glorified slave in another country.

My homecoming…

Filipino OFWs are the modern-day slaves and their deployment the modern-day slave trade

The OFW economy is the “Hacienda Luisita” economy, implemented during the Aquino era. OFWs are like the tenants of Hacienda Luisita; whereby, they toil from dawn to dusk, on the fields. All working capital is loaned by the hacienda owner; to be paid , at high interest at the time of harvest. Basic provisions of the tenant comes from the hacienda owner’s store. The tenant buys on credit; to be paid during harvest.

Filipino OFWs are our modern day slaves. In the 18th century; we had African slaves, kidnapped in Africa, to be sold as Plantation Workers in U.S. Southern States. Most of the U.S. Southern states, then , had Plantation Owners, with large holdings of lands, planted with cotton. Slaves are worked to death… Slaves are whipped, tortured and maltreated at the slightest mistakes. Women slaves are raped; and made pregnant by the slave masters, to produce more slaves in their household. Slaves are sold in Slave market, like you sell your carabao. The illegal OFW recruiters are like…

DFA "rescue" of OFWs and "viral" video were stupid, but Filipinos should get over that and find solutions to the OFW problem

It is too much that you are asking for the resignation of DFA people. Solve the problem. Do not fight over the problem . Why are there undocumented unskilled workers in Kuwait anyway ? Where these people victims of illegal job recruiters ?

Being in a foreign country; and being undocumented is already a crime in any foreign country. It is like the Filipino TNTs or Filipino Tago ng Tago, in the U.S. They are subject to outright deportation. Or like the Mexican laborers, who climb the fences on the U.S. -Mexican border, to work as fruit pickers, during harvest season.

The rescue mission of DFA people, is a stupid one. Much more taking videos of the rescue of undocumented Filipinos. The Kuwaitis are really outraged on this stupid decision of some people of the DFA. They are further outraged on the uploading of the video on the FACEBOOK. It showed Filipinos, can just flaunt Kuwaiti laws.

And by the way, let us not bash each other’s head for the stupidity of some people. Keep calm, and sol…

Kuwait diplomatic row: illegal DFA activity plus over-enthusiastic video sharing equals OFW economic disaster!

Let's be objective. From what I've gathered, it was the DFA itself who published the videos first. Then Phil Star, then Thinking Pinoy.
Everyone here has a share of blame but it is now moot to point the finger as the damage had already been done. But let's break it down. To begin with, the operation of DFA was an outright disrespect to the sovereignty of Kuwait, regardless of how "good" the intentions were. This was only made worse when they documented the whole thing AND published the video for public consumption. Imagine the impression a sovereign country would get when you're smuggling its workers out RIGHT UNDER ITS NOSE. Yeah, infuriating.
As for the video sharing, given that the faux pas had already been committed, the DFA could have still removed the video immediately, done some damage under control with the guise of some stupid personnel or something, and the whole thing could hypothetically have been prevented. Emphasis on the word "hypothetica…

Can we trust the Philippines' Commision on Elections (@COMELEC) to oversee the 2019 elections?

This is a question many Filipinos are asking following the last election in 2016 that had all been married by mounting evidence of fraud. Indeed, at the time of this writing, an ongoing Supreme Court probe into possible electoral fraud surrounding the outcome of the vice presidential race in that election has kept the Office of the Vice President mired in uncertainty.

Filipinos' distrust of the COMELEC casts a pall over the coming elections or any future ones for that matter.

The only solution is to subject the COMELEC to a full and detailed investigation extended to evidence going back several national elections it had overseen. This is because allegations of fraud go way back and the observation that none of these have been satisfactorily brought to light and resolved is, by itself, a big enough issue to warrant further scrutiny.

The the role of the COMELEC is a foundation of Philippine democracy and any cause to distrust this agency is a serious matter that needs to attract se…

Mr @BobiTiglao's email to "vice president" @LeniRobredo regarding her "purveyor of fake news" allegations

Ms. Maria Leonor Robredo
Vice President
Republic of the Philippines

CC: My Facebook Timeline

Dear Madame Vice President, 

I abhor fake news as much as  you also seem to be, based on your  recent tweet.

Sadly, I continue to get Facebook posts alleging your affair with Congressman Jorge (“Bolet”) Banal. If these are fake news , I would like to expose these  as such.

However, I haven’t received any such denial from you nor from Congressman Banal, for me to write that this is a fake news. 

I hope you can deny it as soon as possible so I could bury this issue finally  and request FB fact-checkers to delete such falsehoods.

I requested our editor-in-chief several days back  to assign a reporter to ask you this question, as this really of gathering information is the work of a reporter and not of  an opinion columnist. 

For some reason though,  it seems my request had been ignored. Or probably our reporter was too faint of heart to do that.

This is a follow-up of my last email of April 24 …

On Raissa Robles's idiotic response to @BobiTiglao and the free pass given to this idiocy by @indayevarona

In a blog post given the sloppy title "Letter to a certain Tiglao", Raissa presumes to respond to Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao who, in his  article "It was Aquino, not Duterte, whom Cambridge Analytica 'helped' become President", completely eviscerated allegations made by Robles in a South China Morning Postarticle that current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won the 2016 elections aided by SCL, parent company of the notorious Cambridge Analytica.

Robles's quaint "letter to a certain Tiglao" is so infantile that it could be summarised in just five points...

(1) She felt "sad" about "seeing so many mistakes" in Tiglao's article.

(2) She pointed out that Tiglao got the gender of her editor wrong.

(3) She pointed out that Tiglao addressed her as if she was a mere recent acquaintance.

(4) She made an issue of how Tiglao made use of "unnamed sources".

And then (5) concludes that Tiglao "has nothing…

Philippine "vice president" @LeniRobredo to Manila Times columnist @BobiTiglao: "Bring it on!" 😮

Philippine "vice president" Leni Robredo's claws are finally out. And the object of her wrath is Manila Times columnist Bobi Tiglao who, in a recent piece in column titled I’m fuming mad at the European Parliament and the Liberal Party, wrote how Robredo "met with German members of the European Parliament to urge them to have the April 18 resolution passed" during a trip to Germany with fellow Yellowtard leaders. The resolution sought to "urge" the Philippines to "stop extrajudicial killings of drug suspects".

Robredo lashed out on Twitter claiming (despite boasting about never having read any of Tiglao's articles) that all that was "fake news"...

I recently called out a fake news purveyor for lies about my Germany trip. Instead of admitting fault, he emailed my office threatening to print more fake news. I’ve held my peace before, trusting that truth will prevail. We can no longer let lies go unchallenged. So bring it on.

Is "vice president" Leni Robredo really that dumb?

You really gotta wonder about "vice oresident" Leni Robredo. Is she really totally oblivious to all the evidence of the possibility at least that the 2016 elections were fraudulent? Or does she know and, yet, consciously toes the party line that the 2016 elections were perfectly clean?

Why, for example, does Robredo not question at all the absence of former Commision on Elections (COMELEC) Andy Bautista through such a critical time when his presence and availability to answer questions surrounding an election he oversaw would have helped a lot? Isn't Robredo the least bit curious about whether she did indeed win the 2016 elections fairly? Why not support a search for the truth rather than simply dismiss otherwise perfectly valid challenges to the official party position?

Robredo is supposedly "vice president" to all Filipinos. In practice, however, she looks more like she is "vice president" only to the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards). Not at …

Kris Aquino attests to the good character of President Rodrigo Duterte complete with the DDS fistbump emoji! 👊

In a single tweet, Queen of Philippine Showbiz lays out her new position following a spat with erstwhile wannabe First Lady Koroma Sanchez...

I apologize sa Kuya ko, humihingi rin ako ng paumanhin sa ninang ko na nanay ni Mar- pero klarong klaro sa kin kung bakit ang nanalong Pangulo ay si DUTERTE. 👊
[Translated: I apologise to my Big Brother and ask forgiveness to my godmother who is Mar [Roxas's] mother. It is clear to me now why Duterte won the presidency.]

Complete with the trademark Duterte fistbump emoji!

What did Korina Sanchez do to attract the awesome ire of the other Megastar? According to, Sanchez did a feature on James Yap, his new wife Michela Cazzola, and their son Michael James in her show Rated K. No further details beyond that so far other than that Aquino attested to what she seemingly regards now as Duterte's gentlemanly character...

Si PRRD lahat nung pagkakataon na nagkaharap kami, mabuti ang pinakita sa kin.
[Translated: At all times I've met…

Ban on foreigners engaging in activism in the Philippines issued by Leila De Lima in July 2015 as then Justice Secretary

Then Justice Secretary De Lima signed in July 2015 Operations Order no. SBM-2015-025 banning foreign tourists from engaging in political activities in the Philippines.
Below is an image of this order the PDF version of which can be downloaded from the Philippines' Bureau of Immigration website via the above link...

The order is clear and specific with regard to what non-resident foreigners are prohibited from engaging in while in the Philippines...
Foreign tourists in the Philippine are enjoined to observe the limitation on the exercise of their political rights during their stay in the Philippines. Foreign tourists are prohibited from engaging in any political activity as defined by law and jurisprudence, such as but not limited to, joining, supporting, contributing or involving themselves in whatever manner in any rally, assembly or gathering, whether for or against the government.
The Philippine Opposition need to get their facts straight before launching outrage fad "pro…

Filipinos are taught by their parents to flush at public toilets with their feet. Is this RIGHT??

Public toilets in the Philippines are seen to be dirty. As such many Filipinos are taught by their parents to use their feet to operate the flush lever after using a public toilet.

The prevalence of this practice was confirmed after a tweet from a Filipino Netizens describing the practice attracted wide approval...

Is this the right way to solve the problem of unsanitary public toilets in the Philippines? By teaching kids to use their feet to operate such facilities?

It's more like teaching them to be inconsiderate and rather than be good members of the community. No wonder public facilities in the Philippines suck. It's because their users suck.

Below the 50% threshold: Ballots with improperly shaded circles are likely to be fraudulent

It's simple, really. A ballot that is fradulent is likely to be a hastily-filled one -- one more likely to have circles next to the candidates' names improperly- or incompletely-shaded.

When you've got thousands of ballots to fill under time pressure as part of an organised effort to commit mass fraud, there's a high probability you'd shade circles in many ballots the wrong way -- wrong enough to fall below the threshold applied by the COMELEC to determining whether a ballot is a valid one.

Indeed, no less than Rappler, of all "news" outlets, published clear instructions back in 2016 that highlight the importance of this...

Shade the circles properly using the Comelec marker. Do not write anything else on the ballot. This is to ensure that the machine can properly read your votes.
The thing with "vice president" Leni Robredo insisiting that the threshold be lowered is that she essentially wants the validity criteria to be more tolerant -- perha…

3 things the @PCOOgov should GRILL @Facebook about

Now that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is mulling a protest over the "fact checking" partnership Facebook has entered into with Rappler and Vera Files, it is worth setting out some points that could be taken up with Facebook management come the time they find themselves in front of a Philippine Government inquiry.

Point 1: The introduction of "fact checkers" changes the nature of the business of operating social media platforms? "Fact checking" introduces application of editorial governance on FB content. What does that make FB now? Is it still just a platform? Or is it a media entity that falls within th regulatory framework applicable to news media organisations?

Point 2: Facebook enjoys an unfair advantage over other platforms because of its "free data" carriage over the biggest Philippine telcos and ISPs. It could possibly be regarded as a business practice that runs counter to fair trade practice on a level and com…

Filipinos are unable to unite because EMPATHY is not a part of their national character

It's actually a weird human constant to unite against a common enemy. Europeans argued with each other before WW2, and carried on arguing afterwards. For that brief period between 1938 and 1945, they had a common goal.
This lesson wasn't missed by US economists, who decided that the best way to keep an economy bubbling is to invent a mythical enemy and keep the country on a permanent war footing. And it worked ... with the unfortunate side effect of producing a belligerent, paranoid population, not to mention a whole load of ill-advised wars against people who really weren't enemies.
Nevertheless Europeans still manage to get along nicely without killing each other these days, and IMO they do that because they have a heightened sense of empathy. This is a learned skill. It is not innate, and Filipinos don't value it enough to learn it. Basically, Filipinos see other Filipinos as an obstacle in the road of life, or as prey. They are, by and large, callous and indiffere…

Raissa Robles's follow-up Cambridge Analytica article suffers from a VERY basic logical fallacy

Raissa Robles should quit while she's ahead. Following widespread criticism copped from Netizens over the sophomoric "investigative journalism" she published about the purported involvement of the "parent company" of Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 elections, she published a follow-up "report" that adds even more idiotic logic to the already moronic logic she applied to the earlier...
And why would the cousins La Viña and Laviña motor all the way to the National Press Club in Manila (which is so out-of-the-way from Makati, Pasig and Bonifacio Global City) just to listen to a foreign guy jaw off about a new way of conducting an election campaign?  Six months after that meal, Duterte had tossed his mayor’s hat into the presidential ring and the cousins had become a central part of his campaign team: Pompee La Viña as the “social media director” and Peter Tiu Laviña as the campaign spokesman.
The above practically serves as a textbook example of ad hoc …

Why the Chinese win and Filipinos lose in business

Filipinos view every business interaction as a “win-lose” scenario: someone must win and someone must lose. The Filipino does not accept the reality of “win-win” business deals.

So, when Europeans or Americans come to the Philippines with grand ideas of helping Filipinos succeed, they end up walking away with all their money gone, and nothing to show for it. The Filipino thinks that this is a good outcome: he has won, and the foreigner has lost. At no point does it occur to him that, if he had NOT cheated the foreigner out of all his money, they could have built a profitable business together; that’s the “win-win” that the foreigner wanted, but that the Filipino doesn’t consider as an option.

Now, the Chinese businessman fully understands that the Filipino does not do “win-win”. He understands that there are only two possible outcomes in any deal:

1) Chinese wins, Filipino loses.
2) Chinese loses, Filipino wins.

The Chinese businessman (obviously) does not want (2) to happen. He ther…

"Activists" like @carloshconde who attack director @brillante_ma are sad one-dimensional hypocrites

To expect every non-poor person to harbour feelings about poverty beyond "fascination" (and condemn them for that shortfall) is, itself, a form of hypocrisy. And that is exactly what certain "human rights activists" are, hypocrites...

Poverty is the subject of countless film makers' work. Do we expect every producer and director of movies about the poor to be bleeding-heart activists? That'd be just being a self-righteous prick.

Art is the outcome of inspiration. Whether that inspiration is motivated by an artist's "mere" fascination or deep empathy for his subject is beside the whole point of said artistry. One needs to be a bit more of a well-rounded person to understand that.

Filipinos have a problem with the Chinese because the Chinese are successful and succeed QUIETLY

What IS your problem with the Chinese? They keep their heads down, they support each other, and they get on with their work. Which is a lot more than can be said for Filipinos. I’ve met quite a lot of Chinese-Filipino businessmen, and the majority are smart, honest and trustworthy. That is WHY they are successful. People who cheat, lie, and scam their customers rarely get anywhere; and that is WHY Filipinos are (mostly) poor and miserable.

Those involved in the drug trade (for example) are here because Filipinos want them here. The people making the money, setting up the ground-level deals, and basically betraying their own country are Filipinos. Same with mining companies and timber thieves: it might be Chinese buyers operating the ships, but it’s Filipinos operating the chainsaws and the excavators.

And of course they’re in the game for the money. What’s wrong with that? What else would you have them do? And why SHOULD they help you “move forward as a people”? What business is that…

Leni Robredo's supporters exploit perceptions about the "Marcos" name to distract from the FACTS of the case

Why are the supporters of "vice president" Leni Robredo so against the recount initiated by former Senator Bongbong Marcos? The objective here is to establish the facts surrounding what really happened in the 2016 elections. Even now, there are even more things coming up that are begging to be investigated. As long as some things remain unexplained, there is cause to investigate further.

Robredo's supporters focus on highlighting the stigma surrounding the Marcos name. This draws upon Cold War era narratives that no longer apply today. Whatever surname Marcos carries had no bearing on the circumstances surrounding the allegations of electoral fraud marring the 2016 elections.

The case lodged before the Supreme Court Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) is about what happened in May of 2016. What happened before it is out of scope. Robredo's supporters and the bigger community of Yellowtards and Martial Law Crybabies can shriek all they want about topics outside of …

Did Duterte deprive Filipinos of a "rational" choice by exploiting their frustrations in 2016?

Did then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte exploit Filipinos' "collective feelings of frustrations over PNoy's admin" during the campaign lead up to the 2016 elections? Did he take "advantage of that vulnerability and deprive [Filipinos] of being rational in choosing a leader"?

Even if he did, that still makes it inexcusable that the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtatds), despite being in power at the time, enjoying three decades of control over the national political narrative, and having staunch allies in the Philippines' biggest corporate media firms squandered all that political capital and opened the doors for the entry of a dark knight from Mindanao into Imperial Manila politics.

In that sense the Yellowtards not only failed, they failed their constituents. They need to take personal accountability for that failure before they whine about any imagined sinister and exploitative forces at work.

But as far as I recall, Duterte exploited nothin…

Where is former COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista??

You'd think that someone who headed an agency that is now under investigation would find a bit of decency within his person to assist in efforts to uncover the truth. Instead, COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista chooses to remain in hiding. Like the coward that he is.

Now that the recount of the 2016 election results is underway, it is evident that the COMELEC had mismanaged this and possibly previous elections as more and more instances of anomalies emerge. Even now, ballot boxes that supposedly have not been tampered with were found to contain wet ballot sheets. How does that happen?

Everyone should be concerned as these anomalies suggest that disturbing things are happening beyond the reach of public scrutiny. But instead of being concerned, the Philippine Opposition are dismissing every citation. This is because for these Opposition "activists" the only real good outcome of investigations like these is that the rear end of their presumptive "vice president" Len…

Bongbong Marcos's sweaty armpits is an important issue to the Yellowtards

Philippine Opposition "activists" led by the Yellowtards seem to lack any sound argument on just about anything. The most recent thing they latch on to is a photo of Bongbong Marcos with arms raised revealing perspiration on his armpits. And so they make something of it -- as if perspiration under arms is such an abnormal thing as these fine Opposition Netizens show...

Does wet armpits contribute to resolving or clarifying any of the issues of national consequence?  Obviously not. But that little inconvenient fact does not seem to matter to these "influencers".

And we wonder why Philippine politics is the way it is.

Statements of support for VP Leni Robredo fielded by Ph Opposition "activists" lack logic

This tweet by Francis Baraan IV is representative of the type of dysfunctional thinking that Philippine Opposition"activists" apply to their causes. Never mind that the dispute and the recount is proceeding along via due process, to Yellowtards like Baraan, the issue is about some kind of nebulous notion of righteousnes the underlying logic of which resides only within habitually and hopelessly convoluted lazy thinking.

There seems to be no discernible logical construct in the above statement.

Rather than support a systematic investigation of an issue using a transparent process to establish fact where uncertainty ruled for almost two years, the Opposition led by the Liberal Party are, instead, seeking to block the effort, discredit it, and invoke the support of the Roman Catholic Church to provide authority (but not reason) to that position.

You wonder which camp is really on the side of truth. Is it those who defer to a process that is open to scrutiny? Or is it those who…

Roman Catholic Church tells Filipinos that God is on Leni Robredo's side

Trust the Roman Catholic Church to get involved in all the wrong ways. What exactly does "praying over" the lawyers of "vice president" Leni Robredo in the lead up to the vote recount today to determine who really won the vice presidency back in 2016? It shows that the Church is endorsing one side of the dispute and is not really interested nor curious to learn the truth.

In the modern world, the truth can only be revealed after a systematic effort through a process that applies a consistent set of rules that all parties involved adhere to.

The Church would like Filipinos to believe that there are powers that are above the rules prescribed by the State and that these powers are on the side of Leni Robredo.

This is the sort of thinking that is ingrained in Philippine society thanks to the examples exhibited by the Church in the manner with which it participates in democratic processes.