River Cleanup (Video)

“River Cleanup: An Informational Video” primarily seeks to highlight the importance of cleaning up Metro Manila rivers.

This is a less-than-five-minute presentation of the sad reality of the concerted cleanup effort, but is able to know where the light at the end of the tunnel is even as the video attempts to educate viewers on (1) how rivers get tons of garbage despite regular cleanup, and (2) why this civic action needs further direction like in San Pedro – Tunasan River’s case.

The video owner previously commented on a related Philippine newspaper report thus:

“Kudos to the reporter, too, for pointing out an important detail from her news source, which is that upper villages of this town (others call them taga-bundok or taga-itaas) are also to blame for that huge piling up of garbage in lakeshore villages. Cuyab, San Roque and Landayan don’t look good every time they suffer severe flooding, but I know that barangay officials and residents of these lakeshore villages always try their best to regularly keep their surroundings clean.

“I remember the time when we were called upon to act being boys scouts and later on being CAT trainees. I experienced more than five times in separate days joining classmates in cleaning up rivers and uprooting water lilies. We had our own sacks to collect plenty of garbage which lasted three to five hours during a clean-up day. My classmates were mostly from the lakeshore villages and I was a taga-bundok/itaas. When I grew a little bit older, I had time to lead a very small group from an upper village to clean up our own creeks before, during and after storms. Group members seriously felt ‘good’ and ‘cool’ during these times of ‘bababa-bayani’ (if you know this cool rap-song about bayanihan). It’s just that we were simply outnumbered by undisciplined upper villagers.”

UPOU confers 361 degrees, holds investiture of 4th chancellor (Photos by Misael Bacani)

Fists in the air, singing UP Naming Mahal. Photo by Misael Bacani

Fists in the air, singing “UP Naming Mahal”. Photo by Misael Bacani

There is more to the knowledge - President Pascual. Photo by Misael Bacani

“There is more to the knowledge and skills the University has bequeathed upon you than becoming social critics. They are meant to make out of each of you the change you want this nation to become.”–President Pascual. Photo by Misael Bacani

Chancellor Bandalaria. Photo by Misael Bacani

“President Pascual aptly summed our role in one phrase ‘shaping the minds that shape the nation.’ A role which we should take seriously for we cannot fail the next generations.”–Chancellor Bandalaria. Photo by Misael Bacani

Source: “UPOU confers 361 degrees, holds investiture of 4th chancellor”, University of the Philippines System Website Copyright © 2014-2016 University of the Philippines System Information Office (UPSIO)

http://www.up.edu.ph/upou-confers-361-degrees-holds-investiture-of-4th-chancellor/

Expat na nasa Pilipinas, humihingi ng panalangin

Kawawa naman si manong. Salita nang salita, wala namang kumakausap. Hindi naman siya nakabatak ng droga.

Ako na lang ang kakausap.

“How are you, my friend?” kako. Sagot niya: “There are so many things in this laundry shop that need to be improved on.”

“Yeah, I understand. Nice shirt by the way. My name is DC.” I was about to ask his name but he interrupted.

I have heard him say “yani”, an expression that gave me a hint of what part of the world this white-skinned six-footer was from. Mula siya marahil sa Kanlurang Asya o Gitnang Silangan.

He says: “You know, nobody could dispute me. You see Jesus Nazareno (pointing at his yellow shirt). I paid Php 80,000 in Malacañan… at the presidential assistance office. The Philippines is getting better with President Duterte.”

Anim o walong buwan na raw ang nakararaan nang magbayad siya ng ganoong halaga sa ahensya ng pamahalaan. Nakinig pa ako sa mahabang kwento niya ng karanasan ng iba at ng kanya. Hinayang din daw siya sa maraming Pilipinong maliit ang kinikita sa kabila ng pagiging napakasisipag.

Gusto raw niyang turuan ang iba na gumawa ng “tip box”. Aniya, mas malaki pa nga minsan sa ibang bansa ang tip kaysa sa buong sweldo.

“So how do you find the Filipinos as a people?” I asked. Came this response:

“You’re like an NBI, the National Bureau of Investigation. You know, you don’t understand me. I’m an expat. You know ‘expat’?”

I answered, “Expat… you’re migrating.”

(Nagsimula na siyang mag-imis ng kanyang gamit. Lumabas na muna kami ng anak ko. At pagbalik ko, papalabas pa lang siya ng shop.)

“God bless you, my friend. Ma’a salama. May the face of our Lord Jesus Christ shine on you and give you peace,” I told him. He said: “Thank you. I also pray. I asked her (shop customer service associate) if she knows the Lord’s Prayer? Our Father, who art in heaven… No response.”

I asked him: “Please pray for our country, the Philippines. And I’ve been to the Middle East. I have friends from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan, and Turkey. God bless these nations.”

“Oh come on, Turkey today is not the same 15 years ago. Turkey will be lost after 15 more years.”

Nabanggit niya ito habang papalayo sa akin, mga sampung hakbang na ang layo.

Siya kaya’y taga-Turkey? Napaliligiran ito ng mga border ng walong bansa, kabilang na ang Syria at Iraq sa timog, Iran at iba pa sa silangan.

When I yelled a little bit of “I’ll pray for you”, he replied, “Yeah, keep on praying.”

I’ve prayed for all asylum-seekers, all refugees, for their peace and peace for all nations. Please say your prayers for them, too. DC Alviar

Expat2

Living in a ‘Hot Spot’

Nang una akong dumating sa Saudi Arabia noong taong 1987, medyo malala na ang digmaan sa Middle East – Iraq contra Iran.  Ang Iraq noon ang pinapanigan ng Estados Unidos.  Nauso ang palitan ng scud missiles.  Makalipas ang mahigit na isang taon, ang Iraq ay nilusob at inangkin ang Kuwait na noon ay isang tahimik at independiyenteng estado.  Dahil sa mataas na antas ng ekonomiya at pamumuhay, idineklara ng Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) na ito ang ikapitong lalawigan ng Iraq.  Maraming Kuwaitis ang nagsilikas at nagpuntahan sa karatig na bansang Saudi Arabia.  Kinupkop ng mga Saudis ang mga Kuwaitis, kasama ang ilang mga domestic helpers na karaniwa’y Pinay at Indonesian.  Ang karamihan sa kanila ay tumirang pansamantala sa mga Iskan buildings sa Al Khobar, Dammam, Jeddah at Riyadh.  These were actually housing units built by the Saudi government for their people.  It was chaos everywhere.  I remember one time a scud missile from Iraq hit one of our company accommodations in Riyadh.  Then in the Eastern Province, a “stray” scud missile hit one of the compounds in Al Khobar where the U.S. military personnel were staying.  There were some casualties in these hits.

Saudi Arabia is surrounded on most of its northwestern border by Jordan and on the northeast by Iraq and the re-established State of Kuwait; while in the south, lies one of its recent enemies, Yemen.  Along its eastern fringes, lie the friendly nations of Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Across the Gulf (whether you call it Arabian or Persian Gulf really doesn’t matter) is its fiercest nemesis, Iran.

Sa loob ng halos tatlong dekada kong pagtatrabaho at pagtira dito, naranasan ko ang maraming pagkakataon na ang panganib ay nasa paligid lamang.  Sa Jeddah noong early 1990s, ay kasama namin sa aming compound ang mga lalaki’t babaeng piloto, copilots, navigators at mga flight engineers na mula sa US, bukod pa sa mga paramedics at mangilan-ngilang entertainers na paminsan-minsan ay sumusulpot sa aming malaking auditorium.  Dahil ang tirahan ko noon ay malayo sa city proper, well-guarded ang compound – may machine gun sa may main gate na napapaligiran din ng mga sandbags at may mga guwardiyang Saudi na armado.  Nagkalat din sa perimeter fence ang CCTV cameras.  Para kaming nakatira noon sa military camp dahil kabikabila ang mga nakaunipormeng sundalo at mga US Air Force personnel.  Naging normal din ang takbo ng aming buhay kahit ganito ang situwasyon sa paligid.  Araw-araw naman ay walang laman ang mga pahayagan dito kundi ang mga paglusob sa Iraq ng mga Allied forces.

Nang matalo na si Saddam Hussein, nagkarooon naman ng malaking problema sa mga Al Qaeda, sa loob at labas ng Saudi Arabia.  Sa Yemen, may binombang isang barkong military ang mga jihadists.  Jihad ang tawag nila sa kanilang ideolohiya – isang pakikidigma laban sa mga tinatawag nilang “infidels” o hindi kaisa sa kanilang pananampalataya.  Tinatawag din naman silang extremists o fundamentalists dahil sa kaibang uri ng Islam na kanilang ipino-promote at inihahasik sa mga kabataan.

MidEast map

Ang pagkakadakip at pagkakapatay kay Osama Binladen, na siyang pinaniniwalaang utak ng pagpasabog sa World Trade Center (WTC) noong 2001, ay isa sa  mga naging mitsa ng paglago pang lalo ng Al Qaeda, ang pagkakaroon ng mga iba pang factional groups within its ranks at ang pagsisimula ng Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).  Ginamit din itong propaganda at modelo ng Al Shabab sa Somalia, ng Boko Haram sa Nigeria at Chad, ng Taliban sa Afghanistan at Pakistan, ng Hezbollah ng Iran sa timugang Lebanon, ng Hamas na namamayagpag sa Palestine at kumikitil ng buhay ng mga Israeli halos araw-araw, ng kidnap-for-ransom na grupo ng Abu Sayyaf sa bandang timog-kanluran ng Pilipinas, at lately ng Islamic State caliphate sa northeastern part ng Syria at northwestern part ng Iraq.

Sa ngayon ang problema ng Saudi sa Yemen ay ang mga tinatawag na Houtis na ang akusasyon ng ilan ay mga pakawala at doktrinado sila ng bansang Iran para guluhin ang mga katutubo.  Ang mga Yemeni ay likas na mababait, especially sa mga Pinoy.  Sila ang mga karaniwang namamahala ng mga shops o tindahan dito sa Saudi.  Karamihan sa kanila ay marunong mag-Tagalog kapag Pinoy ang mamimili. Subalit nang magkaisang muli ang North and South Yemen, medyo hindi naging maganda ang relasyon ng Yemen at ng Saudi Arabia.  Maraming mga Yemenis ang pinauwi (repatriated). Later on, nagkaroon ng panibagong giyera sa Yemen at pumasok ang Saudi Arabia, kasama ng US, at pinagbobomba ang mga inaakalang pugad ng mga Houtis sa Yemen. Habang dito naman sa Eastern Province ay may mangilan-ngilan ding sporadic skirmishes at pagpapasabog na ginagawa ang mga Shi’ite Muslims.  Ang Saudi Arabia ay dominado ng mga Suni at ang mga Shi’ites ay marginalized.  Pareho rin ang kalagayan ng mga Shi’ites sa Bahrain.  Ang mga Shi’ites (mula sa salitang Shia) ay mostly nasa Eastern Province, sa mga bayan ng Al Qatif, Hofuf, at Khafji.  From time to time, ay may mga checkpoints na ginagawa dito kapag may mga suicide bombing na nangyayari.  Kailan lamang ay may nag-suicide bombing sa tabi ng U.S. Consulate sa Jeddah at sa may tabi ng Prophet’s Mosque sa Madinah (Medina).  It’s really a bit scary here sometimes, but life goes on normally after each blast.  The papers may be full of explosive news about this radicals and jihadist activities, but we just shrug off our shoulders and continue with our daily chores as if nothing happened at all.

Another thing worth mentioning, although it’s not that impossible to happen, is the chaos going on in parts of Syria and Iraq, which are both just beyond the northern borders.  It’s just lucky enough the main war zone is within the upper north of these countries.  The self-proclaimed IS caliphate, which no country has ever recognized so far, is continuing to attract and inject its venom to young Muslims all over the world via the internet and social media.  And it has spilled out to its neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.  And it’s actually happening.  More and more suicide bombers affiliated with IS (the latest evolution of ISIL and ISIS or Daesh in Arabic) are trying to end their lives here by doing some “heroic deeds” which would eventually (as they believe) send them straight to Paradise.  But more and more innocent lives are killed by their ideology.  Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, Kazakhstan, UK, and even the USA, have experienced being caught up in the IS maelstrom. There’s no place that is safe enough in this world nowadays. But as I have stated earlier, life continues as usual.  Being in the middle of a hot spot is like being in the eye of a storm or a hurricane – it’s quiet and normal, without any hint of the troubles spinning around it! Ned Samar

Why use a Duterte emergency power?

“Marami tayong priority bills na kailangang ipasa sa lalong madaling panahon gaya nung pag-address sa crisis in traffic sa Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” thus spoke House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during a political party’s fellowship in Makati City.

At the resumption of Congress’ session, his fellow representatives and senators may take a twist – and turn a bill automatically into President Rodrigo Duterte’s emergency power to resolve the traffic problems.

Duterte won the presidency in part due to his enlivening promises, one of which was to end metropolitan road users’ miseries.

He understood their sad plight, adding that, in fact, he was caught deeply in traffic when Pope Francis visited parts of Luzon and the Visayas.

“Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Hoy, (invective) Pope, umuwi ka na!” the then Davao City mayor said during one of his presidential campaign sorties.

This became part of his apologies to the Roman Catholic leader later.

Sensing urgency of the problem, the Davao del Norte Rep. Alvarez said: “Kinakailangan ang emergency powers dito dahil masyadong malaki ang problema…Pero bigyan natin ng limit. Say, two years lang tapos meron pa rin tayong oversight functions. Para kung may pang-aabuso ay tanggalin natin.” DC Alviar

Why use a Duterte emergency power

Buena Mano: AdU First Featured in ABS-CBN’s ‘University Town’ Reports of UAAP Member-Schools

Adamson top student-athletes Michael Sudaria and Jema Galanza, other students and administrators responded confidently to television interviews as ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 featured the home of the Falcons in San Marcelino Street in Ermita, Manila.

Buena Mano

The feature was also published on Jul 24, 2016 on Youtube via ABS-CBN Sports And Action channel.

After shooting at Adamson, hosts Robie Domingo and Gretchen Ho were also spotted at National University and De La Salle University for their next coverage.