Makati’s Bungled Coup Attempt

Yesterday was another interesting day in Makati City, highlighted by another bungled ‘coup’ attempt, mutiny, rebellion, standoff, or what-have-you, led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Brigadier General Danilo Lim, which was staged at the posh Manila Peninsula hotel.

‘Tis true, the government has lost the support of a great number of Filipinos, mostly induced by the recent spate of scandals, questions on legitimacy and alleged constitutional and human rights violations. True still is the fact that the opposition is slowly gaining ground in its attempts to wrest control of the government leadership. But whatever momentum the opposition has gained went for naught simply because they can’t put their act together. Haven’t they ever heard of the ‘team building’ concept?

Oh well, are there other lessons to be learned? Hell, yes!

And some of these are:

1. Never make bookings in any of Makati’s premier hotels. Settling for three-star hotels or motels will do.

2. Make sure you have enough fuel in your tanks. Curfew-induced traffic can quickly deplete your car’s fuel and trigger your temper. We have an opposition’s senseless action begetting a government’s equally senseless reaction

3. Make sure to empty your bladder before driving. Again, curfew-induced traffic can be hell for anyone with a full bladder. It’s sort of a ‘piss poor’ drive after a ‘piss poor’ coup.

4. We now have new ways to use plastic cable ties aside from managing computer cables – Yes, steel handcuffs are obsolete – talk about Filipino ingenuity. Those bondage and S&M couples definitely learned a thing or two and added a new toy to their arsenal.

5. When applying for a building insurance, remember to add in a clause stipulating coverage from tanks or assault vehicles barging into your facility. This is what I call a true ‘Urban Assault’. Shock and awe baby! NOT!

New Philippine passport requirements

Update —— September 14, 2011 ——

The DFA has implemented a new passport processing system. Philippine passport applications and appointments must now be done online via the official DFA passport application website at http://www.passport.com.ph.

You will no longer need to bring passport-sized pictures since your picture shall be taken at the DFA premises. Here are the guidelines that you need to follow when having your picture taken at the DFA Enrollment Section: http://dfa.gov.ph/main/index.php/guidelines-on-photo-capturing.

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We were finally able to apply for CJ’s passport yesterday, Friday, for our upcoming trip this December which was, as expected, accompanied by the usual hassles prevalent when applying for, or securing, any government license, certification or identification document.

We just found out that the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently issued new passport application guidelines, specifically on the new colored photo requirement where the photo of the applicant should be taken against a royal blue background.

We already had a passport-sized picture of CJ taken a month ago with a white background, the old requirement. And it’s a good thing that Conne checked out the DFA website to verify the requirements, otherwise she would have wasted a trip to the DFA office if she brought along CJ’s old pictures. And so we had a new set of CJ’s pictures taken last Thursday, his 2nd birthday.

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Update: Here’s a link to the new PASSPORT PHOTO GUIDELINES dated August 14, 2008: http://dfa.gov.ph/?p=234 and you can download the PDF file here: http://www.dfa.gov.ph/consular/PHOTO%20GUIDELINES.pdf

How to replace a car bulb like a mechanic

After a few days of trying to make do with only one functional car headlight, I have finally been able to replace the defective bulb – by myself! I never knew that replacing it would be very easy!

I’ve been trying to squeeze in a bulb replacement schedule with our car shop but couldn’t because of our hectic work schedule and other commitments.

As an IT consultant, I’m fairly confident when it comes to tinkering with complicated IT infrastructure systems, but find myself a helpless newbie when it comes to tinkering with my own car.

I eventually decided to go the do-it-yourself route and bought a new pair of headlamps for “Puti”.

After reading the car manual, I realized that replacing the bulb wasn’t that complicated. When it came to actually doing it, it was easy as pie, and I couldn’t believe why it took me that long to do it myself.

It was just a matter of popping the hood, locating the defective bulb, removing the power source connector, removing the rubber gasket holding the bulb, unlocking the bulb clamp, removing the defective bulb, putting in the new one, putting everything back in reverse order, and that’s all she wrote!

Now the only thing left to do is to replace the other good headlight, since the new one that I placed was way brighter. Haha. 🙂

New job, old job, looking for a job


Today’s my first day at my new job. I reported for work after lunch but not after reporting to my old workplace first.

I had to drop by my old workplace first thing this morning to conduct a scheduled panel interview, together with my officemates (Cocoy and Gerald), for my replacement. Unfortunately, the guy didn’t show up and so I just had to spend the entire morning creating a list of my turnover and training activities. Gerald, on the other hand, went on with another scheduled applicant interview but for a different position, of which he had a funny and interesting story to tell us afterwards.

He came into the interview room and saw a female applicant stooping down, fidgeting with something. It turned out that the applicant was in front of a wall outlet with a phone charger in hand, apparently charging her mobile phone. Thereafter, during the interview process, Gerald was interrupted midway through one of his questions, when the applicant asked if they could cut short the interview since she had to rush to her current work to avoid being late! Ha! Yikes!

Can you believe it? I thought I heard it all. Oh well, I guess it’s all in a day’s work. Cheers!

Wedding bells for my mom

My mom finally remarried after more than twenty years! She got married yesterday, to Daniel Pavan, in Jacksonville, FL. I feel sad because we weren’t there to witness the special event. But I feel happy too knowing that they both love each other.

I wish both of them the best. May they love each other and take care of each other always.

To Mr. and Mrs. Pavan, congratulatios! We love you guys! God bless!

You win some, you lose some

Today’s another one of those weird “you win some, you lose some” days.

My day started off pretty well in spite of the heavy rain. Conne and CJ were in their usual jolly and “malambing” selves. Then on my way to work, I received a bit of good news on a career opportunity with an offer I simply found hard to refuse. The timing was impeccable since my renewable monthly consulting contract with my current employer just ended Monday this week. This makes the transition a bit easier since all I have to worry about now is to ensure that my turnover activities go without a hitch. And so, instead of auto-renewing my contract, I guess I’m off to a new workplace come Monday! Yikes, that was fast!

I also found out this morning that my blogs finally got over a three-day slump and earned me a few $’s via Google’s AdSense, well okay, maybe a few cents. Ha! (As an aside, my SEO skills are definitely improving since, for the past weeks, most of my targeted key words have ranked high or are #1 on most SERPs. I guess that’s one advantage of having worked for DirectWithHotels). And with today’s mounting expenses, plus the fact that CJ’s birthday is fast approaching, earning a few bucks ain’t that bad, and is in fact a welcome opportunity.

And after a relatively uneventful workday, the drive home was unusually quick and almost traffic free, plus, dinner was great and really filling! Burp!

But, in an inevitable cliche-like fashion, all good things just had to end. I received word this evening bearing bad news on a case I was closely following. Oh well, suffice it to say, I believe I have now found the prime candidate for the worst lawyer there is, there was and there ever will be – the ultimate “abogado de kampanilya.”

After mulling things over, I now firmly believe God has a plan for all of us. And I believe that the string of blessings I received earlier today more than compensated for today’s misfortune.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. 🙂

Cheers!

CJ’s upcoming 2nd birthday

CJ’s 2nd birthday is next week, November 22nd. And we still don’t know how we’re going to celebrate it! Ha!

We were originally planning to visit Hong Kong Disneyland but might be rescheduling it this December in time for Conne’s birthday, or at least until our budget allows it.

Calling all “ninongs” and “ninangs”: “Yoohoo! Utang niyo!” 🙂

CJ’s first halloween trick-or-treating at Ayala Alabang


Here are some pictures taken from CJ’s first Halloween trick-or-treating event. Our first stop was at the Festival Mall in Alabang. We then proceeded to Ayala Alabang Village to round up the day’s gig.

CJ had a great time and was simply adorable in his Winnie the Pooh costume. Barely two years old, he had no idea what trick-or-treating was, well, he couldn’t even utter the words “Trick or treat!” But we really had fun watching him eagerly and clumsily rushing towards every house that we went to and knocking zealously at the doors. It’s too bad that we did the rounds a little bit late or he could have gotten more treats. But, all the same, we were really proud of our cute, cuddly and oh so adorable little Pooh bear.

Is Philippine cable TV really worth it?

Is subscribing to cable TV really worth it? Sometimes it is, but most often it isn’t.

You see, it all starts with the way it’s marketed. You can see it everywhere. One of the marketing points being touted by competing cable TV providers is by stating how many channels they serve. In this case, the usual spiel would be for them to: 1) list how many channels they have; 2) list some of their well known programs such as HBO, Star TV and ESPN; and 3) list channels that are targeted for a specific demographic community (Chinese, Indian, Arab, Filipino, etc).

Not that this is bad in any way. It’s actually good – if you’re a motel or realty owner and plan to resell it, that is!

You see, the Pinoy Juan’s instinctive reaction to these ads is to see which deal offers more bang for the buck. He does this by computing for the effective cost per channel by dividing the subscriber’s monthly subscription fee over the number of channels they offer. So if Cable Provider A offers a monthly cost of Php 600 for 60 channels, and Provider B offers a monthly cost of Php 700 for 80 channels, then the cost per channel of each provider would be as follows:

Provider A: Php 600 / 60 channels = Php 10 per channel
Provider B: @ Php 700 / 80 channels = Php 8.75 per channel

At first glance, this makes Provider B the better deal. And so Juan opts for Subscriber B. He even pats himself on the back for making such an astute choice, only to find out later on, to much consternation, that he might have ended up with a lemon.

You see, everything changes once the subscription starts. Why? Well, for starters, of the 80 channels, half of which use foreign language. Of the remaining 40, roughly half of this is pretty much useless stuff such as virtual aquariums, flight scheds, race results and the like. So what’s left? Oh, just about a dozen or so local VHF/UHF channels that could be seen even without cable, and about 7 or 8 channels that are good enough (at least until they start showing re-runs for the duration of the month’s program schedule) for viewing.

Juan suddenly feels gypped. He just spent 700 bucks for a measly 7 watchable channels on top of the local ones – that’s a hundred bucks per channel!

Don’t you ever wonder why won’t cable companies just sell us channels of our own choosing, a la carte style, instead of the unpalatable smorgasbord gunk of what they call intelligent programming.

Oh well, just imagine what Juan would do if it were his day off or he called in sick. You can almost picture him either catching up on a good read or just snoozing the day off.

The Makati City bomb blast at Glorietta 2

Today’s another very tragic day for the Philippines due to the Glorietta 2 bombing incident.

At about 1:30PM this afternoon, an explosive blast ripped through the ground floor of Glorietta 2, one of the country’s busiest and most heavily populated shopping malls, located at the heart of the Makati City central business and shopping district.

The Makati bombing claimed the lives of at least 9 people and injured hundreds more when its shock waves caused a violent chain reaction of collapsing building structures (ceilings, floors, walls and roof), menacing shards of projectile-like glass and metal shrapnels, falling debris and paranoia-induced human stampede.

The blast was initially thought of as an LPG tank that exploded inside Luk Yuen, one of the restaurants located at ground zero. Investigators soon ruled out the exploding LPG tank theory and found evidence that the cause was far more sinister than initially expected, it was a terrorist bomb attack using C-4 plastic explosives.

Most of the victims were rushed to different hospitals in the Makati area, such as the Makati Medical Center and the Ospital ng Makati.

For now, please pray for the eternal repose of those who died and for the quick recovery of the injured victims. May justice be served swiftly.

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Related News:
GMA News: C4 bomb component used in Glorietta blast – PNP chemist
Inquirer.net: 9 killed in Makati blast (Explosion in Glorietta mall injures 119 others)