7 ways to avoid road rage – part 2

As promised, this is the second and final part of my blog entry entitled “7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage”. The first four points covered in Part One are:

1. Be courteous.
2. Observe traffic rules.
3. Always signal your intentions.
4. Don’t tailgate.

Here are the remaining tips:

5. Observe the proper parking lot etiquette. – This is one of the most important tips to remember, since a lot of people have died just because of parking lot scuffles. Some of the parking lot rules of thumb to consider are: observe the first-come-first-served basis; if a space opens up, turn on your signal light to the direction where the parking space is to indicate your intentions, in turn, drivers who see this should understand not to take that space; when a parking space suddenly opens up behind you, don’t back up anymore and just move on; and stick to the lane you are in and try not to get too greedy with the area you are surveying.

6. Watch your high beams. – When driving at night, nothing pisses me off more than some half-blind driver forgetting to switch to low beams when approaching cars or tailing them. (In the Philippines: Jeepney drivers do the extreme opposite. Most of them drive around at night with their headlights turned off, only relying on their darned park lights!)

7. Turn down the bass. – As with tip number 6 above, here’s another example of drivers with defective senses, and this time it involves their sense of hearing. I don’t understand how people driving boom boxes for cars can drive properly and responsibly if they can’t hear what’s going on outside. Along with the sense of sight, I was made to understand that a good sense of hearing is also a prerequisite for safe and defensive driving. Not only is the half-deaf driver not able to hear cars honking at him or ambulance/police car sirens begging for road space, but some studies have shown that loud music with fast beats tend to draw out aggressiveness in people as opposed to soft, slow soothing music. This makes people more prone to succumbing to road rage. (In the Philippines: Again, a lot of Jeepney drivers are guilty of this. Heck, these drivers can’t even hear their passengers shouting “Mama, para po!!!” (to indicate that they want to be dropped off at a certain spot) or “Mama, eto pong bayad ko!!! (to indicate that they are about to pay their fare) at the top of their lungs. Mind you, a driver-passenger road rage confrontation can and does happen because of this!)

Following these tips does not guarantee that you won’t succumb to road rage or be in the receiving end of one, but it does help make the streets safer and more peaceful for everyone. Do you have anything else to add?

Happy driving!

Related Blog Entries:
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 1
Pasig Road Rage: Justice and Peace for Ed and Kay
Pasig Road Rage: Pasig Road Rage: Lawyer Released on Bail

7 ways to avoid road rage – part 1

What’s the popular buzzword nowadays? The term “road rage” is one of the most popular terms being used today in the Philippines, particularly in Manila. This is mainly because of the recent spate of unfortunate road rage-related crimes happening across the metropolis. It’s such a major concern, especially in this traffic forsaken land of ours where machismo, pride and ego predominate.

So how can we lessen or contribute to the elimination of road rage in the Philippines?

Here’s Part One of: “7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage”.

1. Be courteous. It pays to be a courteous driver. Just imagine what the world would be like if every driver followed the “Golden Rule”, which simply means “Do unto others what you want others to do to you”. The increase in the number of courteous drivers will help decrease of road rage incidents, which means safer streets for our everyone to ply on. But it’s quite unfortunate that a lot of stupid drivers still follow the “Do unto others before they do it to you” maxim, which really sucks.

2. Observe traffic rules. – Traffic rules were meant to aid people and help improve our overall driving experience, not limit them. Just imagine how organized and efficient our roadways will be if all drivers obey existing traffic rules – one ways, no overtaking, speed limits, no parking, etc. This leads to lesser headaches. (In the Philippines: You’d expect law makers and law enforcers to set an example, but this is more often not the case. With heavily tinted windshields, diplomatic or special plates, blaring sirens, and police escorts, they seem to think that they’re above the law, those fu#*@rs!)

3. Always signal your intentions. – If you can’t do the simple task of engaging your signal lights prior to turning or changing lanes then you shouldn’t be driving at all. Admit it, your brain just can’t handle simple multi-tasking tasks so much so that it’s eating up all of your concentration just to focus on the road ahead and not anything else. How can people expect you to handle complicated tasks such as making good driving judgment calls or performing successful evasive maneuvers? Your brain will probably be overwhelmed and “lock up” when situations like these occur. It gives a whole new meaning to the term “pea brained.” Ha!

4. Don’t tailgate. – Some people just have a fixation for trains. They seem to think that they’re the train’s caboose. (In the Philippines: You’d see these tailgate jerks swerving around, nipping at your rear, stuck to you like glue and driving in the wake of speeding ambulances, diplomatic convoys and, if they happen to have color-code violating license plates, right smack at the tail end of just about any car they come across so as to hide their plates from those “ever vigilant” law enforcers!)

Part Two’s coming up in my next post. Can you figure out what the remaining three are?

Related Blog Entries:
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 2
Pasig Road Rage: Justice and Peace for Ed and Kay
Pasig Road Rage: Pasig Road Rage: Lawyer Released on Bail

All in a day’s work – and some notes…

Today was a pretty rough and tiring day.

My boss called me up last night, on short notice, to inform me that I was slated to go to a client’s office in Subic Bay for a meeting early Monday morning.

I left early in the morning, a little over 6AM to head to the office and meet up with my boss to get some materials. Thereafter, I had to drop by Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City to pick up a business partner, who turned out to be a former college schoolmate of mine. We then headed off to Pampanga, which was along the way to Subic Bay, Zambales to pick up another business partner. (Note to Self: Wake up earlier you lunkhead!)

The drive was long and traffic was unexpectedly moderate to heavy, which slowed us down even further. We ended up reaching the client’s site, an awesome facility nestled between the sea and surrounding mountains, after 4 hours of driving. My Toyota Innova, “Puti”, ended up battered underneath by rocks and boulders on patches of unpaved road strewn across a scenic, winding mountain pass heading to our destination. I wished I had one of them 4×4 Ford Expeditions or Toyota Fortuners so I could just plough through with ease. (Note to Self: Start saving up for that 4×4 you’ve always wanted!)

After spending much time trudging through high security protocols and miscommunication mishaps involving language barrier, missing key personnel and lunch breaks, we finally had a chance to meet our clients face-to-face at, oh, a little over 2:30PM! (Note to Self: Start catching up on some basic Korean language skills.)

Suffice it to say, we were on the road again in 45 minutes. ‘Twas another 4 or 5 hour drive back to Manila. The drive home would have been uneventful had it not been for the highway patrol pulling us over for having a busted left head light, oh man! But, lucky for us we were only given a warning! ;-P (Note to Self: Have that headlight fixed!)

I dropped off my colleagues along the way and picked up Conne, who had been waiting for me at her office, about half past eight and headed straight home. It’s a wonder CJ was still up waiting for us. 🙂 (Note to Self: Thank God for a wonderful family He’s given you!)

To summarize my day, it was: 10 hours driving, 2 hours waiting, 30 minutes eating lunch, and 30 minutes meeting. And the rest? Some quality time with my family, of course! 🙂 (Note to Self: Stop whining, you crybaby! It was worth it!)


Another long weekend up ahead

The Philippine government recently issued Proclamation No. 1397 declaring Friday, October 12th, as a regular holiday in observance of “Eid ul-Fitr”, a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. For our Muslim brothers, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating the achievement of enhanced piety.

This also means that there’s another long weekend up ahead! Yes, it’s definitely more rest and relaxation time for us “dakilang manggagawa”, not to mention being able to spend more quality time with the family. 🙂

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao defeats Marco Antonio Barrera

Filipino super featherweight boxing superstar, Manny Pacquiao (45-3-2, 35 KO’s), won a unanimous decision over Mexican fellow superstar, Marco Antonio Barrera (63-6, 42 KO’s) this morning at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The scores were 118-109, 118-109 and 115-112. This is the second time that they fought in a sanctioned bout.

“Pacman” continued to show his mastery over Barrera as he simply outboxed and outgunned MAB, the “Baby-faced Assassin”, for most of the fight. MAB showed flashes of brilliance on some rounds but it wasn’t enough to overcome Pacman’s power. In addition, MAB announced his retirement during the post-fight press conference. Here’s wishing the best to MAB, one of my favorite boxers, as he goes through a new phase of his life.

And congratulations are in order for the “Pambansang Kamao” for doing the country proud, as usual. “Mabuhay ang Pinoy!!!”

Pasig Road Rage: Lawyer suspect released on bail

Atty. Manuel Hernandez Jr, the lawyer suspected of shooting down and killing Kay Palmero and Ed Canizares after a traffic altercation, has been granted bail this afternoon, October 5th. This was after the Pasig City Prosecutor’s Office agreed to downgrade the charges against Hernandez from two counts of murder to two counts of homicide, which made him eligible for bail.

The suspect was therefore released on bail after posting PhP 80,000, and upon receipt by the Pasig City police of the release order given by Pasig City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Amelia Manalastas.

This new development has raised a lot of issues especially since Hernandez works for Pasig City Hall as a legal officer.

There won’t be anything much for us to do but wait and, as good citizens, presume that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty in court (if there will ever be a trial) no matter how damning the evidence may be (like several eyewitnesses). But let’s just hope and pray that the truth comes out and that justice be served immediately.

What do you think?

Related News:
Lawyer Tagged in Road-rage Killings Out on P80,000 Bail

Related Blog Entries:
Pasig Road Rage: Justice and Peace for Ed and Kay
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 1
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 2

Pasig Road Rage: Justice and peace for Ed and Kay

An extremely sad and unfortunate event happened yesterday. Two colleagues of mine, Ed Canizares and Kay Palmero, died yesterday afternoon, October 2nd, from several gunshot wounds from a 9mm pistol fired by a certain Atty. Manuel Hernandez Jr. after a traffic altercation in Pasig City.

I was really dumbstruck when I heard of the sickening news since I was still able to strike up a conversation at work with Ed that morning before he left. What’s ironic is that he had just celebrated his birthday the day before (October 1st) and that he had just picked up Kay who arrived from Singapore for his birthday celebration scheduled this week.

I’ve come to realize that when tragic things happen to people you barely know, the typical response would be to feel sorry for the person, followed by a shake of the head, a shrug of the shoulders and finally, indifference. But when that same thing happens to relatives, friends and people close to you, that’s when reality hits home – where it suddenly turns out to be a surreal, hair-raising, knee-weakening, and life-altering experience.

They were victims of road rage and I realize that the same incident could have happened to me in the past because of my temper and pride. And I admit that I am more conscious now and really think twice when it comes to managing stressful driving situations and venting my anger.

I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the families of Ed and Kay. I hope that justice will be served. And I hope that the man who killed them will pay for this heinous act. May he rot in his cell – a stinky, filthy one.

Please do spare a minute to pray for the eternal repose of Ed and Kay as well as for the families they left behind.

Related News:
Inquirer.net: Pasig Lawyer Charged with Double Murder
Gun Used by Lawyer in Road-rage Slays Missing — Police

Related Blog Entries:
Pasig Road Rage: Lawyer Suspect Released on Bail
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 1
7 Ways to Avoid Road Rage – Part 2

NBN Scandal: “Sec, may 200 ka dito.”

Romulo Neri, the current chair of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) dropped a bombshell at the Senate hearing last week, September 26th, saying that Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. allegedly offered him a bribe worth PhP200 million to “facilitate the approval of the NBN project.” The bribe incident allegedly happened around January of this year at the Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club while he and Abalos were alone together on a golf cart. He quoted Abalos saying: “Sec., may 200 ka dito.” Neri was at that time the director general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

What’s interesting to note is that Neri also testified that when the bribe incident happened, and on the advice of his lawyers, he mentioned Abalos’ offer to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a phone conversation. Whereby the president told him not to accept the bribe.

A bribe is a bribe no matter how small or big it is, right? The question is, was there anything done about this? Okay, so Neri is asked to turn down the bribe offer, and then what? He still approves the proposal? You can only imagine the increasing number of questions being formed at the minds of anyone intent on seeking the truth.

And so, until all the questions bugging concerned Filipinos are answered, the shroud of secrecy will continue to put the government in a bad light.

Related Blog Entries:
The Abalos Scandal: ZTE and the National Broadband Network (NBN)
ZTE NBN Conspiracy Theories

Inquirer.net – Neri admits Abalos

Priceless: The night we helped our mom pack

After weeks of helping my mom pack up at Subic in preparation for her migration to the US, it felt really weird going to my brother’s place in Quezon City to pick up all of her luggages for her Saturday morning flight.

I went there alone since Conne had to stay home to take care of our toddler, CJ, who had the flu. Present at the time were my uncle Dennis (my mom’s brother), Ding (my youngest brother), Emily (Ding’s wife), Cel (my brother Bong’s wife), and my nephews – Purple, Jervis and Indigo.

The evening turned out to be an emotional roller coaster of sorts brought about by the evening’s bout of stories, misunderstanding, arguments, tears, forgiveness and laughter. But everyone could tell that the overwhelming emotion present throughout that night was love.

The night ended with a prayer, a very heartfelt one.

On the way home, I dropped off my uncle at his place and dropped off Cel and Jervis at theirs.

As I rode home alone in silence, with the midnight darkness blanketing everything, in the drizzling rain, with no companion save my mom’s things, and with the after effects of that emotional night, my whole life flashed before me throughout that drive – and as I rounded the corner near our home, I knew then how extremely lucky I really am to have a good family behind me and a wonderful new stage in our lives ahead of us. I smiled.