"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Barack Obama, Yes We Can!

Barack ObamaChange is inevitable, that is just how things are and the only thing permanent in this world is change as the world is in continues flux. It may take decades for it to happen but when Barack Obama came into the political landscape of America the inevitability of change is taking the nation by a storm of hope while threatening the Republican National Convention with Gustav’s fury courtesy of Mother Nature.

Yes we can so goes the roaring chant of 84,000 delegates in a venue where thousands more are willing to pay but could not get in just to listen to a politician is a sign that we are onto something big…… something that is not just memorable that will change how we see things breaking and smashing every known stereotypes in terms of color but one that will change us as a people, a better people to be precise. Is this a sign that America is on a path towards color blindness?

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was the strongest and assertive so far and by far the best I have heard. Contrary to what his Republican detractors are saying, Obama is no celebrity superstar but a man who came from a hardworking middle class American family like the rest of us with the same vulnerabilities and daily struggles in life. A man that has transcended the stereotypes and rose to the occasion as a genuine leader and best of all a testament to the American dream of being what they want to be in a nation that gives equal opportunity to everyone regardless of the color of ones skin. And yet despite all this he is not running based on race but based on the common good of all people in a nation that draws its strength on the diversity of its people. Yes, we can President Barack Obama:

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

A grassroots movement never seen before in the American political landscape of change that will sweep the nation from the ground up as he reiterates may just happen because each and every individual American believes that change is within us all.

Yes, I get it and it makes sense why he says that change should happen from the ground up based on what he says below:

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

Ok, as long as people stop telling me their life story telling a lie every time I encounter some of this self centered people and understood that the about you was how each and everyone contributes to the collective change then things should go as planned. Seriously, this statement just negated big time the celebrity perception that Republicans wanted Obama to be seen by people and so far he is it….. the one that captures the imagination of the American people in this crucial time that will define the direction of this nation on the road to greatness once more.

The Republicans no doubt are good political strategist and if the intent was to woo and to solidify the rag tag Hillary Clinton “hold-outs” to go all out for the Republican ticket then maybe this is what the catholic “I don't vote on the first date” Elizabeth Joyce is looking for then it served their purpose "well" and "good". On the other hand, while John McCain's veep choice is more of a strategic move one can’t deny this to be historic also in Sarah Palin. She brings into the ticket a strong anti-abortion stance and opposition to gay marriage that will draw the ideological lines prominently separating the 2 political parties in the electoral contest. While McCain's camp continues to bore us to death on criticizing the "inexperience" of Barack Obama, it seems the beef errr veep is not a tad better if we go by how she was described below:

She has more experience catching fish as a former commercial fisherwoman than dealing with foreign policy or national affairs.

Oh well talk about inexperience, but then again this is the campaign season and we should expect this kind of rhetorics that adds more excitement unless we want it to be too boring.

One thing that surprises me though is that Barack Obama is really paying attention, yes and that includes the Filipino-Americans while I don't think it is necessary the Asian American Pacific Islander issues are translated in Filipino.......

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Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya Fight Is ON....

Looks like most of the kinks in the deal has been ironed out after the on and off negotiation almost fell apart for a mega-fight that will rake in moohlah for both fighters scheduled for Dec. 6.

The negotiation broke down when Oscar De La Hoya’s camp insisted on a 70/30 split and Manny Pacquiao rejecting the split. At
two-thirds/one-third split of the revenue with De La Hoya getting the biggest chunk, it will be the biggest purse to come Pacquioa’s way at around US$20 million or more.Pacquiao-De La Hoya Pacland promo version
While it is a welterweight non-title bout, Manny Pacquiao is taking a bigger risk against a fighter that is taller at 5’ 10” ½ against Pacquiao at 5”5” and giving away 7” in reach against a jabber.

On the other hand Pacquiao is at his prime at 29 years physically and highly improved boxing skills as seen in the one sided rout of lightweight defending champion David Diaz.

Pacquiao is definitely more comfortable at 136-140 lbs. the only Filipino boxer to have won in five lower division will be fighting a De La Hoya at 35 years who is more comfortable around 154 lbs. will have to go down to 147 lbs. Are we going to see a weaker De La Hoya just like Morales? That will favor Pacquiao if that is the case but maybe not as De La Hoya has also won multiple titles too and has shown his versatility in different weight classes.

Another encouraging write-up is by
Jeff Schimmel of Bleacher Report whose contention if he is right on target with his argument that De La Hoya is just more of hype concocted by the media, then Pacquiao may indeed be the Mexican’s worst nightmare.

Mike of
Pinoy Sports Writer has a favorable forecast too in favor of Manny Pacquioa citing the specific pros and cons and if they are right Pacquiao will just solidify his stardom in world boxing.

Bookmakers in Nevada has finally come out with the odds favoring De La Hoya 2 to I and while there are upsets, who will win the fight will of course be determined on the night of the actual fight. The odds on the betting board will probably be listed at about minus 185 (risk $1.85 to win $1), with the price on Pacquiao about plus 165 (risk $1 to net $1.65). While it appears that the odds favor De La Hoya this is considered an even match and not a one sided fight in favor of De la Hoya.

I think Manny Pacquiao has an even chance of winning that is if we take into consideration Jeff Schimmel’s contention and this LA times article:

De La Hoya is 2-2 in the welterweight division, losing to Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley, and defeating Gatti and Derrell Coley.

"You can actually lose a fight on the scales," Schaefer said. "To make 147 would be a big concession on Oscar's part."

If De La Hoya comes out like an emaciated warrior Pacquiao has a chance, on the other hand this is a huge 2 step up in weight class for Manny so it still may go in either direction…..

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Note: The image above is not the official poster but an artwork by lotur at Pacland Forum

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Is It a Principled Stand or Childish Tantrum?

As I watched Larry King Live after the 2nd day of the Democratic National Convention, I was amazed or rather amused at the array of guest that was in the show. What struck me most was Elizabeth Joyce of the Just Say No To Coalition a Hillary Clinton Hold-out, or was she?

Here is the text of the Larry King Live with Elizabeth Joyce (if you prefer the video clip click here) and see if indeed this was a principled stand or just a childish tantrum:
KING: We're back. We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Elizabeth Joyce. She's in Denver, a member of Just Say No Deal. That's a coalition, a group of staunch Hillary Clinton backers who are not supporting Barack Obama.

She's co-creator of HigherHeels.com, which described itself as a forum of power chicks for Hillary.

Well, all right, she lost. She favors everything Obama favors. So why are you voting against your self interest by not voting for Obama?

ELIZABETH JOYCE, MEMBER, JUST SAY NO DEAL COALITION: Actually, Mr. King, I need to be courted before I vote for any candidate, and Senator Obama has not earned my vote yet.

KING: Did Hillary court you tonight?

JOYCE: You know what? Senator Clinton promised to campaign staunchly for Senator Obama and she did so. And I think she did exactly what she said she was going to do tonight. That doesn't mean I'm going to change my mind.

KING: If you like Hillary so much, one would gather you favor her policies and you draw a line between what policies Obama has that you don't like?

JOYCE: Actually, it's more about principle, Mr. King. I was on the campaign trail since last winter and the way we were treated as Senator Clinton supporters it just didn't wash with me.

KING: Meaning?

JOYCE: Meaning the vitriol on the blogosphere. When I was on the ground, I was harassed verbally. And I'm sorry. We're supposed to be the good guys. We're the Democrats. We don't treat people like that. We certainly don't earn votes that way.

KING: Let's say some people in the Obama camp treated you wrong. Is that the reason to have someone elected president whose policies you don't agree with?

JOYCE: All I'm saying is they need to earn my vote. I'm a good Catholic girl from Boston, Massachusetts, and I don't vote on the first date. Senator Obama is going to have to step up. It's really not up to Senator Clinton to court me. He has to do that. I get an e-mail from him just...

KING: What does he have to do?

JOYCE: Excuse me?

KING: I'm sorry. What does he have to do?

JOYCE: Well, he could certainly ask for my vote, first. All I get from Senator Obama and the DNC in my e-mail box are solicitations for money. I'd like to actually learn more about him as a person. And I'd like him to ask for my vote and not for a donation.

KING: Every time you've watched him speech he hasn't asked for your vote?

JOYCE: Well, I've actually seen him speak live, once, and that was in Indianapolis. And actually he was speaking do to a crowd he felt had already gotten his vote. He didn't ask me, no, or the Clinton supporters with whom I as standing.

KING: So what you're saying, Elizabeth, is you're open, right?

JOYCE: I am a tiny, tiny bit open, but I need to say, my ballot box is pretty closed, especially when I go home and I look at my computer and I see what hate mail I'm going to when getting for talking with you this evening. We're the Democrats. We're the good guys. We're supposed to embrace everyone. Those people who don't necessarily agree with us.

KING: All right. Was Hillary in the convention spot light tonight, although not in the role her supporters had hoped? She called on royal backers to rally around Barack Obama.

Watch this and we'll ask you to comment.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D), NEW YORK: And whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.

And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months or endured the last 8 years to suffer for more failed leadership. No way, no how, no McCain.


KING: OK, Elizabeth Joyce, how did that impress you?

JOYCE: Well, obviously, Senator Clinton wants us to vote for Senator Obama. But Senator Obama has not yet seen my vote, nor has Senator McCain, by the way. And you were right. I really do not adhere to the same policies that Senator McCain might be for. I really am a staunch Democrat. But my vote is my own. My vote is my choice. My vote is precious, and it needs to be earned. Period. The end. I just don't give it away.

KING: We can help here. What can Obama do?

JOYCE: He needs to reach out. He needs to reach out more to Senator Clinton's supporters. We need to feel like we are included in the party. I am staying in downtown Denver. And what I have witnessed by people that are wearing Obama garb, they're not really including me if I walk through my hotel lobby with my Hillary pin on.

KING: They don't pay attention?

JOYCE: I think that they need to reach out just -- not so much. I mean, I honestly -- they certainly could each out to us as much as Senator Clinton wants us to reach out to them.

KING: OK, will a lot depend on Thursday night's speech?

JOYCE: I am actually looking very forward to hearing Thursday night's speech. I think that Senator Obama could, perhaps, mend some fences and he's going to have 80,000 people, plus people around the world watching. And I think that he should certainly reach out to us as Hillary Clinton supporters because the bottom line is, he needs us. You've seen the polls.

KING: And did Hillary impress you tonight?

JOYCE: (Inaudible).

KING: Did Hillary impress you?

JOYCE: I think Senator Clinton gave a lovely speech. She spoke from her heart. It touched my heart, actually. And -- but that doesn't mean I necessarily agree with her attack at this point.

KING: Gotcha. Thank you, Elizabeth Joyce, a member of Just Say No Deal, the coalition.
I can understand women empowerment but the feeling of entitlement? Geez, whoever taunted her and her group ought to know better, but then again is it about them or what the party stood for? It's bad enough that what we hear from Republicans are silly responses it gets really comical when you see Hillary holdouts like WWII Japanese soldiers still fighting when the war was over. Will someone at the Obama camp please give her back her lollipop…….. please.

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Angel Matos the Cuban Taekwondo Pesky Fly

The Beijing Olympics is over a feat of awesome preparation and management skills to the tune of US$41Billion the most expensive game in history but well worth it in terms of garnering the most gold for their athletes at 51 far more than the 36 for the US.

While there are some minor kinks they are overshadowed by the event in the most elaborate visual feast in epic proportion showcasing a vast array of talents and skills in a nation with a billion people.
Angel Matos the Cuban Taekwondo Pesky FlyWhen you open the windows flies will get in, this is an observation coming from reformist Deng Xiaoping as he once observed and who has a say on who are the flies will be determined by the Communist leaders prevailing mood. Of course the flies from their point of view will be the human rights activist and the pesky journalist trying to show the other side of China but as far as the Political Jaywalker is concerned the biggest fly will be Cuban Taekwondo athlete Angel Matos and his coach Leudis Gonzales.

Angel Matos was winning until Kazakhtan’s Arman Chilmanov gave him a good whopping that he fell on the mat. For taking too much injury time sitting and waiting forever for medical attention he was disqualified and there goes the fly on a tantrum rage. Here is how FoxNews described the incident:
Cuban coach Leudis Gonzalez offered no apology for Matos' actions during the men's over-80 kg match.

Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan's Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting awaiting medical attention when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.

Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.

"He was too strict," Gonzalez said, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos. Afterward, he charged the match was fixed, accusing the Kazakhs of offering him money.

"This is a strong violation of the spirit of taekwondo and the Olympic Games. The sanctions are the following and are effective immediately: Lifetime ban of the coach and athlete in all championships sanctioned by the [World taekwondo Federation] and at the same time, all records of this athlete at the Beijing Games will immediately be erased," said the announcer, reading a WTF release.

In his first match, Matos defeated Italy's Leonardo Basile, then beat China's Liu Xiaobo 2-1 in the quarterfinals. But he lost to South Korean Cha Dong-min in the semis to land in the bronze-medal match.

"To me it was obvious he was unable to continue," Chilmanov said. "His toe on his left foot was broken."

Matos won the gold medal in this division at the 2000 Sydney Games, dedicating the victory to his mother, who died on the day of the opening ceremony. At the 2004 Athens Games, he finished 11th.

If he is so desperate in winning the elusive gold he should just talk to kupit Mike and silent partner errr contract signing witness Gloria Arroyo who won Gold, Silver and Copper before the games were even held.

Well blow me down and slap me silly as long as it is not a karate kick by Angel Matos, lol, it appears that even Fidel Castro is not just just buying the "corrupt Olympic judges" but peddling it even. Castro was quoted as saying in one of his essays that the "mafia" succeeded in "laughing at the rules of the Olympic Committee," hooray for victim hood.

Talk about the Olympic spirit of sportsmanship……….. Matos will be remembered alright as the kink in the most elaborate Olympic Games ever held in history. An odd man out while athletes the world over sees their commonality amidst the diversity celebrates their oneness, he will go down as an out of place pesky fly……..but then again who the heck does he think he is?

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Recall move initiated against Gov. Ed Panlilio

All the while I thought that the recall move against Gov. Ed Panlilio was dead when Adrian posted an article in his blog stating that GMA may discourage the recall. Apparently the people behind the recall move are not worried about the problems of La Napoleona de Gloria. Is she just losing control or they are too confident that no matter how terrible her ratings are and the numerous scandals plaguing her administration she has emerged "victorious" and unscathed anyways?

What is wrong with the Kapampangans? Ok, wrong question what is wrong with the Kapampangans if they allow a recall move against Gov. Ed Panlilio? Have they lost their sense of values? Where is the indignation or are they too busy wanting to have their Lahar pie and Jueteng revenues?

The Kapanalig at Kambilan ning Memalen Pampanga Inc. (Kambilan) a newly organized (registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission last July 21, 2008) group initiated a move to recall Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, Philippines.

The 5,000 strong jueteng collectors’ errrr card carrying members will be fielded to gather the required 100K registered voters’ signatures out of a total of 997K according to former provincial board member Rosve Henson the president of the group.

Lost of confidence and bickering he says prompted him to initiate the recall move in the interest of jueteng and quarry plunder errr Pampanga.

The Kambingan (goat farm) errr Kambilan has no plans of fielding any candidate and denies they will support Lilia Pineda should the Tongelect approve the recall although he campaigned and was the campaign manager for Lilia Pineda the wife of the allege Jueteng Lord Bong Pineda in the last election according to my source.

It should be recalled that Gov. “Among Ed” Panlilio wrote a complaint-affidavit with the Ombudsman to charge Bong Pineda for plunder, hmmmmn I wonder if this has anything to do with the lost of coincidence errr confidence.

No, there is no truth to the rumor or people should not even speculate that Lilia Pineda’s move asking the Supreme Court to lift the March 4 injunctive writ on the recount case she filed with the Comelec has anything to do with the recall move.

Romulo Makalintal one of the lawyer for Panlilio said that the recount case had effectively put a brake on the recall bid, which Henson believes otherwise. So, why did Lilia Pineda asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunctive writ?

This recall move really shows the perverted mindset of Pampanga politicians and should this succeed will only show kapampangans distorted sense of values. An excellent honest to a fault administration collecting Lahar quarry fees so efficiently and they want him recalled.

In contrast an action star named Lito Lapid with a family owned quarrying firm during his term with dismal yearly collection that took only days for the Panlilio administration and the electorate rewarded him a senate seat. Instead of rewarding Panlilio with support and encouragement for what he is doing, they want him recalled; now that is beyond criminal perversion. But then again there’s more money to be made when you have a corrupt administration as opposed to one that painstakingly administer responsibly in a transparent and accountable manner. Oh, wait is it because good governance in the Philippines is an aberration that they just have to get rid of Among Ed?

Below is a statement from Kapampangan Marangal, Inc:


The results of the May 2007 gubernatorial elections brought ripples of hope around the country that any well-meaning Kapampangan would be proud of. Shunning the usual practices characteristic of traditional and patronage politics, we elected Gov. Eddie Panlilio on the basis of his good governance platform. It was one shining moment for Pampanga that future generations can always look back to for inspiration.

We recognize the many gains that the Panlilio administration has attained for Pampanga after just a year in office. We are especially grateful for the:

  • Sincere efforts to address sectoral issues and concerns by institutionalizing structures and mechanisms (e.g. Indigenous Peoples’ Council, Youth Development Council, Persons with Disabilities, etc.)
  • Increase in quarry collections and the immediate distribution of the shares of the participating local government units
  • Convening of the Provincial Development Council after several years of inactivity
We STRONGLY REJECT the recall initiative filed against Gov. Panlilio at this point in time. A year after the elections, we are just beginning to heal the wounds of divisions through dialogues and peaceful negotiations. Holding a divisive political exercise so soon will only re-open the as yet unhealed wounds and undermine efforts for Pampanga’s progress.

We enjoin our political leaders and the Kapampangan populace to give PEACE AND UNITY a chance especially at this time when we are confronted with a global economic crisis that renders us all vulnerable. We respect the mandate that the people have accorded Governor Eddie Panlilio in the same way that we respect the mandate given to Vice-Governor Joseller Guiao, the members of the Provincial Board and the rest of Pampanga’s duly-elected officials.

While we say no to recall at this instant, we challenge the Panlilio administration to immediately implement MUCH-NEEDED REFORMS, foremost among which are:

  • Ensure checks and balances at the Capitol by not concentrating power and authority on the Provincial Administrator who holds other positions of influence. We recommend the creation of a Multi-Sectoral Advisory Council composed of experts and stakeholders in priority development areas to enhance the participatory character of the Panlilio administration;
  • Give flesh to good governance in Pampanga first and foremost. Breathe life to the campaign platform of “Daing ding Pakakalulu, Iyatad king Kapitolyo” by laying down foundations for economic empowerment to wean the people away from jueteng;
  • Offer a peaceful resolution to the impasse with the BALAS boys. BALAS being the cornerstone of the Panlilio administration’s achievements, it is but fitting to accord the BALAS workers the basic courtesy of due process in confronting allegations of anomalies. We urge Gov. Panlilio to honor his promise of unconditional reinstatement of the BALAS boys who went on strike to dramatize their protest against unjust treatment. We recommend the creation of an investigative body that will look into the alleged anomalies as basis for imposing sanctions on those found guilty and clearing the names of those who are not guilty.
Pampanga stands to lose much if we are to continue this political tug of war that has been adversely affecting our province’s growth and development. We say NO TO RECALL and YES TO REFORMS as we commit to cooperate with both the Executive and Legislative branches of the Provincial Government in making good governance happen in our beloved Pampanga.




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UPDATE: WEG, A Boom or Doom on RP Tourism?

When the newspapers announced the easing of WEG (Waiver of Exclusion Ground) rules quoting concert Guitarist newly appointed Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, prudence tells us that we cannot just rely on newspaper account to avoid adding to the confusion that may cause some travelers with minors.

On that account POGB sent an email inquiry to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to clarify some questions on the easing of WEG rules, they have responded which we quote verbatim:

With respect to what constitutes "substantive proof of Philippine ancestry", we propose that it consists of:

  1. Government-issued identity documents issued to the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, or legal guardian. These documents consist of, but are not limited to, the following: (i) Valid Philippine passport issued by the DFA; (ii) Valid driver's license issued by the LTO; (iii) Valid non-driver's identity document issued by the LTO; (iv) Valid member's identity card issued by the Social Security System and (v) Valid member's identity card issued by the Government Service Insurance System;
  2. Certificate of live birth from a Local Civil Registry showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  3. Record of birth issued by a Philippine Consular post showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  4. A public instrument issued by competent authorities showing the Philippine Citizenship of the minor's Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian;
  5. A notarized document alleging, among others, that the minor is related by consanguinity to a Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian, who is either an elective or appointive official of the Philippine government, its instrumentalities, agencies or subdivisions; or
  6. A notarized document alleging, among others, that the minor is related by consanguinity to a Philippine grandfather, grandmother, father, mother or legal guardian.

(Please see attached copy of the new WEG rules as embodied in BI Office Memorandum No. MCL-08-006 )

This is a very good development and a testament that it pays to be pro-active. while I have no way of knowing if this is due to the efforts and persistence of Elsa Bayani (see WEG, A Boom or Doom on RP Tourism?) who was responsible for almost single handedly lobbying the Philippine government in waiving the WEG fee, Commissioner Libanan did exactly what she asked. Ask and ye shall receive so goes the saying and that is just the beginning. Imagine if there are more pro-active people acting in unison with like minded persons, who knows the Philippines may soon be a better place to live in.

POGB strongly advise travelers bringing along minors of Filipino lineage to consult with the Philippine Immigration Bureau and exercise their due diligence regarding the WEG rules and guidelines.

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Fil-Am gold medalists in the Olympics

Natalie Coughlin Olympic Gold Medalist

Currently going the rounds in Filipino chat rooms was the recent feat of Natalie Coughlin, 24, of San Francisco, Ca., who successfully defended her Olympic title by winning the Gold Medal in the 100 m backstroke event in the Beijing Olympics. She also won silver in the 400 m relay the day before. That top finish in the backstroke event reprised her performance in 2004 in the Athens Olympics.

Natalie is half Filipino (her dad is American and her mother is from the
Philippines). Her performance recalls that of another Philippine mestiza from San Francisco who also excelled in Olympic pool events during her time.

Sometime in the past I witnessed an exhibit at the Main Library of Long Beach, California, highlighting the contributions of Filipino-Americans in the development of
United States history and the future. Among the memorabilia displayed over a cabinet included a photo of circa '49 Olympic champion diver Vicki Draves. There was also a 1949 issue of Life Magazine showing Draves, which it described as"the Olympics prettiest champion."

Then there was an article in the SFO Chronicle about Vicki Manalo Draves, a Filipino American who won two gold medals in diving at the 1948 Olympic Games in
London. She was born in San Francisco. Her parents were Teofilo Manalo and an English lady named Gertrude Taylor; It was said that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to name a new park after the Olympian.Vicki Draves

Here's a portion of that SFO Chronicle item by Kathleen Sullivan and Cicero Estrella:

Vicki Manalo and her twin sister, Consuelo, attended
Franklin Elementary School, run by principal Bessie Carmichael, and later attended Commerce High School on Van Ness Avenue.

"Back then, our only summer vacation was to take the street car out to Fleishhacker Pool, which was right by the ocean,'' Draves, 80, recalled in a recent telephone interview from her home in Palm Springs.

"We would play in the pool and go into the ocean. They also had a grassy area where people congregated and had picnic lunches. Some of the adagio dancers -- who would lift girls into the air and swing them around -- would be out there practicing.

"The men's diving team from the Olympic Club used to go out there and practice. One of the divers asked me if I might be interested in learning how to dive. I said: Oh, you bet I would.''

At 16, she began training under Phil Patterson, who ran the Fairmont Swimming and Diving Club on Nob Hill. "Instead of including me in the club, which everyone else belonged to, he formed a 'special' club just for me -- the Patterson School of Swimming and Diving," she recalled. "I think he was a prejudiced man. It wasn't special for me. It was his way of separating me from the others."

Patterson also told the teenager to use her mother's maiden name,
Taylor, in competition.

"My mother consented because she felt that was what was best for me at the time," Draves said. "But I never asked my dad about it. I think my dad must have been very hurt by that. He didn't say anything, but I could imagine that he did not feel good about it."

By the time she won her first national championship at 19, while diving for another club in
San Francisco, she had reclaimed her Filipino name.

In 1944, she began training at the Athens Athletic Club in
Oakland under Lyle Draves. They married in 1946 and settled in Southern California.

Two years later, Draves made history as the first woman to win both the springboard and platform diving titles at a single Olympics. She was 23 years old.

Some say she was destined to win, because her first name,
Victoria, means "victory'' and her Filipino surname, Manalo, means "winner'' in Tagalog.

Draves has received many honors since that momentous day in Wembley Stadium in
London. She has been feted by the Philippine government and its people, honored by Filipino American organizations, celebrated in Life magazine, interviewed by newspaper reporters and broadcasters, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Nearly 60 years after the Olympics, she still gets requests for autographs.

Her Filipino American fans in
San Francisco would like to see their champion honored in her hometown. Draves, who is recovering from valve-replacement surgery, said she was touched by their regard for her accomplishments.

"I'm quite honored to be considered,'' she said. "I'm glad it's happening while I'm still here.''

d. grava

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Busina's Statement on Ninoy Aquino's 25th Death Anniversary

Ipagpatuloy ang Laban para sa Kapayapaan, Katarungan at Ganap na Demokrasya

Today we commemorate the 25th death anniversary of former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. whose heroism marked a turning point in our country's struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. His martyrdom awakened many Filipinos who were previously apathetic and cowed by the long years of authoritarianism. Ninoy's courageous decision to come home in the face of possible imprisonment and even death, and the flagrant treachery of his murder on the airport tarmac became the catalyst that shook our people out of complacency and galvanized an irreversible nonviolent movement for democracy in the country.

Twenty-five years after Ninoy's death, Philippine democracy once again is under serious threat. A just and lasting peace continues to be elusive, especially in Mindanao. Systemic corruption and abuse of power in the highest levels of government persists with impunity. The constitutional mandate for social justice through a more equitable distribution of wealth, particularly in the agrarian sector, is still unfulfilled. The continuing serious lack of transparency, accountability and integrity in government and the specter of self-serving charter change and even martial law are grave signs that the country confronts renewed authoritarianism.
But as in the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship when we faced repression, uncertainty and hopelessness, it was the courage, selflessness and faith of people like Ninoy Aquino and many other lesser known citizens responding to the call for political involvement, that generated a tide of resistance against dictatorship, clearing the way for democratization. The times call for such heroic engagement and commitment.

Today as we continue our campaign for truth, accountability and reform, we support the authentic efforts to find a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, to address long-standing inequities of power and privilege, and to give voice to the marginalized among the lumad, Bangsa Moro and Christian communities. We call for genuine dialogue and consultation on the substance and implications of the draft GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). But we reject and will vigorously resist any attempt to use the sincere quest for peace to serve hidden selfish agenda, such as regime extension through charter change before the 2010 elections. We believe a central reason why the draft MOA has generated so much suspicion and conflict is not only the lack of transparency and consultation in the negotiation process, but because it is being pushed by a government that has lost the people's trust.

We will fight to defend democracy and the rule of law against its being undermined by violence and the failure to hold accountable those whose narrow and short-sighted interests have led to the weakening, even destruction of many of our political institutions. We will oppose any attempt to cancel, postpone or change the nature of the 2010 elections or any effort to extend the term of officials who should step down by then. But we will also struggle to deepen Philippine democracy beyond its often formal and elitist character by working for reforms that will make the 2010 elections truly meaningful and empowering. While electoral automation is a positive step forward, the integrity of the process needs to be safeguarded at various levels and phases – from voters' registration and education, to campaign finance and electoral administration. Moreover, we need to search zealously for and strengthen alternative politicians and parties who will be responsive to people's real needs and aspirations. We will monitor them and make them accountable for their promises.

But democracy will only become truly meaningful if the majority of our impoverished people have a real stake in its processes and outcomes. This goal will only be achieved if we address the need for inclusive and sustainable development anchored in genuine asset reform and socioeconomic democracy. Thus we call for the reform and extension of CARP without the use of farmland as collateral. We support the continuing organization and mobilization of basic sectors for full democratic participation.

August 21 symbolizes the ongoing task to defend and deepen democratic institutions threatened by self-serving interests. In a moment of darkness, it also represents a time of hope -- the awakening of social conscience and communal action to promote the common good. It is from this reservoir of national memory and our capacity to transcend narrow concerns, that we can take personal and collective responsibility for bringing about peace, justice and genuine democracy. With faith in God's grace and saving power, we will find strength, inspiration and hope.

Courtesy of JMCN

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Has Apathy Consumed Filipinos?


Tara Bosch Santelices after a long painful struggle to recover from the fatal wounds inflicted by the criminal robber passed away at 4:00 AM, Monday July 27, 2009 a few days short of her 24th birthday of cardiac arrest on her hospital bed at the Medical City in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Cainta police reported the killing of the suspected gunman Orlando del Rosario in a shoot-out with the police closed the case. The family is appealing to the National Bureau of Investigation to revive the case due to the disparities on the description and sketches of eyewitnesses with the suspect gunned down by the Cainta police.

Justice for Tara Bosch Santelices

If we look at how evil prevail in the realm of politics maybe it is true that Filipinos has been numbed to apathy out of desperation and hopelessness.

While it may be true to some degree in terms of apathy towards politics, the Filipinos in general are a compassionate caring people. Unfortunately there are revolting incidents that makes one doubt if indeed we as a people have been consumed by the numbing display of apathy to the point of losing our compassion and humanity.

Has it been this bad that when we see a victim of violence because said victim was a stranger, it does not affect us anymore that we just go about our daily lives ignoring the fatal consequence of our revolting inaction? I am sure if we see our sister, daughter, mother or even a distant acquaintance, when we see that she is being assaulted while some may not necessarily ward off the attacker, most if not all will heroically risk their lives to save a damsel in distress. There is no doubt that we will definitely do our best even move mountains to rush her into a hospital especially if it was a matter of life or death emergency.

This is not the case in Tara Bosch Santelices incident, a promising creative young woman about to reach her prime and potential on the eve of her 23rd birthday now fighting for her life in a coma in the ICU of Medical City Hospital in Pasig City, attached to a respirator machine. A victim of armed robbery shot in the left forehead shattering her skull and dreams of a promising life of creativity as a musical artist (lead guitarist of Saffron Speedway) and budding Indie film director. Tara Bosch Santelices went to Assumption Antipolo Batch 2003 and Ateneo de Manila University’s graduate Class of 2007, AB Political Science.

The incident is just so agonizingly revolting that it makes one wonder if indeed people have been consumed by morbid coldness akin to modern day savagery of the asphalt jungle seen only in fiction movies, yet so surreal and agonizingly happening in real life. Here is a quote from the account of Chito Irigo on the incident:

TaraBoschSantelicesTara Santelices, 23 years old graduate of the Ateneo de Manila was shot in a robbery-hold up incident inside a passenger jeep along Felix Ave. Cainta, Rizal. She was on her way home past midnight (August 6, 2008, about 12:30 AM) with a friend coming from a night out on the eve of her 23rd birthday.

Somewhere along a dark stretch of Felix Ave. near Karangalan Village, a man posing as a passenger, pulled a gun and announced a hold-up. The man grabbed Tara's bag. Instinctively, Tara held on to her bag and in the ensuing struggle, the man shot Tara and hit her on the left side of her forehead. After getting the bag of the others, the man jumped off the passenger jeep. Tara's companion, who has never been in that situation asked for help from the other passengers, and told the driver to bring them to the nearest hospital, as blood was already spurting out of Tara's head. But instead of driving speedily to the nearest medical facility, the driver drove as if it was one of his regular trips, even stopping three times to unload a passenger. Of the five or six other passengers, only one bothered to help Tara's friend carry her. The rest just went about their business as if nothing serious happened. In fact some of the passengers even opted to stop the vehicle for them to get off, wasting precious time for medical attention. The driver eventually took them to a small clinic. But even as Tara's companion was talking to a medical personnel in that small clinic, the driver drove-off leaving them to look for a taxi to bring Tara to a better equipped hospital. Tara was given the appropriate medical attention only about four hours later. The police went to the hospital to talk to the witness (Tara's friend) only a day later.

One must be as cold as an unfeeling zombie, an animal monster actually without shame or remorse that has no regard for the sanctity of human life. So irrational and perverted beyond description to see that there are people in this planet so low and revolting to act like this in dire emergency situation.

Why in heavens name did the jeepney driver acted irrationally? Has the Cainta Police even bothered to look for the driver for questioning and gather information that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the cold blooded criminal? Why did the passengers opt to get off their destinations knowing that every second of delay lessens her chances of survival? Or are they so moronic that these passengers would rather be in the comfort of their homes with no remorse whatsoever of the consequence of their stupidity? Criminals will be criminals and you expect them to commit heinous crimes thus you want them apprehended and not wreck havoc on society. But to see “law abiding citizens” acting in this numbing apathy is definitely unacceptable, they are worse than the criminals, a shame to all mankind.

This horrific incident really tests our mettle on seeing the innate goodness of man as blogger Kalamnan pointed out:

Faced with these terrible consequences, I find myself questioning the optimistic counsel R left me with. Should the life of a person be taken just so you can feed yourself? Your family? Your whims? What good is there in taking - be it be money or a bag or a laptop… Or the wife of your neighbor… Or a life?

How does that help you? How does that make your existence better? How does that make your reality and your reasons right?

I do not want to relinquish my belief that people are innately good. We are all created in His image, guided by His hand and heart. But please…


As if this incident is not contemptible enough this GMA News Report came up with this callous title “Robber shoots lady who refused to give up laptop” in what looks like a crude attempt at sensationalism that has the effect of unwittingly blaming the victim. A shallow attempt and yet did not even dig deeper on the circumstance after the crime. Was it because this kind of cold numbing apathy is so common that it is not newsworthy enough?

We can let Tara Bosch Santelices and other victims of crime suffer yet another numbing apathy and let her and her family suffer in pain alone or we can act now by calling the attention of our lawmakers to enact laws so that tragic event like these do not occur again. We can also call on the law enforcement agencies to step up their investigation and there is a petition that we can sign here.

If you want to contribute to a fund for Tara’s recovery, here are the details:

Anne Marie F. Santelices, Banco de Oro, SA 2140-062201. For direct cash donations, please proceed to the ICU Waiting Room of the Medical City (Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City). Please look for Joee Mejias or Lila Santelices.

Lastly, please let everyone you know about the plight of Tara Bosch Santelices, by emailing this or writing a blog about it or any other way to raise awareness on the issue of public safety in public transportation, she needs all the support she can get at this point and sometimes miracle do happen when good people wish and pray for her speedy recovery.

For inquiries, please contact Joee Mejias (09228154987) for calls and Jac Ledonio (09167243071) or Myka Francisco (09163695148) for text messages.

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