"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

Hayden Kho/Katrina Halili sex scandal turns into a Senate circus freak show

What is the difference between an antique collector and antique lover boys?

An antique collector may not necessarily love antiques but they keep their antiques while an antique lover boy is kept by the antique as a trophy…… get it? If not just go ask Lolit Solis, lol.

Leave it to the senate and of course with the help of madaya errr media to turn a sex scandal into a spectacle of sorts that truly belongs to a circus freak show. No wonder the Jester in Exile is exasperated at how the indistinguishable errr distinguished ladies and gentleman are wasting tax peso so they can indulge in their silly sound byte moment in time for the next election. Really, what is the point of a senate investigation in aid of legislation when it was a simple case of video voyeurism and all it takes is to pass a law to that effect? What do we expect anyway from traditional politicians who gets elected based on personality and popularity contest where patronage politics is the name of the game?

Now what’s up with celebrity actor turned foolitician errrr politician Bong Revilla stating that he saw the pirated sex video of Kho and Halili before the later went to his office for assistance? Was it curiosity or the voyeur instinct that prompted him to see the sex video? I say you are busted Senator Revilla, you should know better that mere possession of pirated video is illegal? We settled for jokers so we get bad jokes in return to ruin errrr run the legislative office and it gets worse when celebrities are among their peers making a circus out of a scandal.

Then we have Erap Jr., errrr war freak Senator Jinggoy Estrada snarling at Hayden Kho’s lawyer a woman at that as if he was acting out in an action movie truly unbecoming of one in his stature being a senator.

For one it seems that the savior of imaginary Chip Tsao Filipina maid Senator Pia Cayetano has her feet firmly on the ground this time around unlike in the past, perhaps she had a good dose of reality pill? She was right in pointing out that there is no need for a senate hearing that will do more harm than good to the victim. Apparently this does not bode well with Senator Jamby Madrigal who wants to have her share of perceived “glory” retorting like a juvenile brat that those who see no need for the senate hearing are just envious of the scandal that fell on the committee she chairs. At least now we can say that Joan of Arc Pia Cayetano should stay away from satire and focus on reality for her to come up with realistic response.

Now what is the point of former policeman/politician Abner afuang turned celebrity/bounty hunter in the movies dousing the dud errr stud with water? I know you do that with dogs on heat so I wonder if that was the intention.

It appears according to reports that aside from Katrina Halili there are a total of 40 sex video collection of director errrr doctor to borrow Katrina’s description of Hayden Kho. So if it was true that he had a compilation of 40 sex video of different women what does that make of Hayden Kho? Perhaps a serial peeping Tom or just one out of control oversexed man who can’t get enough of it? The compilation in Hayden Kho’s hard drive also includes refurbished antique errrr Dr. Vicky Belo's intimate tryst who according to the claims of Halili that Kho told her that Dr. Belo was aware of. If indeed the reports are accurate then Dr. Belo was aware of his peeping Tom boy toy’s illegal videotaping of the sexual encounters. Now the question is how come it was only Katrina Halili’s sex video that came out and whoever “stole” the video did not distribute the footage where Dr. Vicky Belo was in it? Is it because it will not sell for obvious reasons as in who wants to watch an oldie but not exactly goodie in bed or is it someting else?

What a circus and spectacle to watch this unfold as the protagonist tries desperately to dig their hole deeper in trouble. Just like a good mama’s boy as if on cue Hayden Kho takes the same stance as the mama Irene Kho that it was Katrina Halili who introduced and dealt ecstasy drugs to him. Duh, the guy is a doctor so in effect he allowed his lover who is not a doctor prescribed for him drugs to improve and enhance his sexual encounter? I wonder why he needs to enhance the tryst, is he confused on his sexual preference like what other observers at Stuart Santiago blog are insinuating?

Is this a case of if I am going down so you are also going down with me? Is it about desperately trying to get the sympathy of the public? Good luck on that one though but one thing for sure is we can only hope that as the plot thickens the authorities should at least address this issue squarely and get the drug dealer who seems to be the culprit in the distribution of the sex video. Will the authorities ran after this cretin of a drug dealer who according to Patricio mangubat of New Philippine Revolution is a powerful and influential figure? Said suspect an alleged member of the Triad Gang used to do "business" with the Alabang boys and is well connected in high places, so will we see the authorities pursue the suspected drug dealer? Or as usual let it be as the criminal is too powerful for them to even dare touch?

Now here is the kicker and since Katrina Halili was an endorser of the clinic where Hayden Kho is a doctor, is Katrina a patient and so are the other women in the sex video compilation? If they are then he is one doctor that Terri Hatcher, the actress playing Susan in Desperate Housewives would really go for a Brazilian wax first according to Manuel Buencamino for fear of a hidden camera. Seriously, if Katrina Halili or any other women in the sex video is a patient then this punk errrr hunk is in deep trouble of getting his medical license revoked.

So how in the name of sound byte grabbing politicians will a senate hearing aid in legislation when Lady Miriam Santiago already authored a bill to address video voyeurism even before the hearing? Is it because they want to satisfy their voyeuristic urge that they just have to go on with a circus of a hearing? If that was not a bad joke unleashed to the people I don't know what is especially with the media turning this spectacle into a shallow partisan contest like the pathetic Philippine election. For one Saksi (witness) a television news broadcast indeed truly lived up to its reputation as an idiot box. Getting some reaction from so-called social sayangtist errrr scientist or "experts" in their field gauging who gets the upper hand on public sympathy between Katrina Halili and Hayden Kho is as dumb as it gets. The issue is clearly about a sexual predator with voyeuristic problem and they make it into a contest of who gets the most PR point is an indication that the Philippine media is not about delivering news per se but editorialized content that caters to parties or individuals they favor. Why they do that is anyone's guess but I dare venture that ATM journalism may have something to do with it.......... or they are simply what they are.... belonging to the idiot box thus the shallow reporting.

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FACLA shenanigans: Where is the remorse? Shame?

The press briefing to discuss a court mandated new election for members of the board of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) was meaningful in that it provided victims of alleged chicanery by the organization's hierarchy a forum to offer magnanimity.

The act of Al Aquino, erstwhile chairman of COMELEC, in seeking closure to yet another shameful episode of FACLA's existence was one sterling quality deserving of accolade from well-meaning members of the community.

Likewise deserving of acclaim was the selfless endeavor of members Cynthia Gatus and Erlinda Guerchoum who had to spend own time and resources and risked hassles petitioning the court if only to obtain equity and judicial ratification of moral uprightness stained by the Nov. 16, 2008 election fraud perpetuated by those the community earlier placed in positions of trust.

The COMELEC is tasked by the bylaws and Election Code of the association to safeguard the integrity of elections. That is the only justification of its existence and unless there is compelling proof that would justify otherwise, it is entitled to the respect, cooperation, and independence that it is entitled to.

In the instant case, the COMELEC had the prerogative to investigate – and the court later upheld it --regarding the circumstances behind the hasty extension of the Aug. 15, 2008, deadline of voting registration that resulted in more than 1,000 new members registered. Ditto with the candidacies of Defendants Rizalino Manuel and Perfecto Tobias who the COMELEC ruled were not qualified.

Not unlike petty potentates unmindful of conventions, and unable to have their way with the COMELEC, Baldonado et al didn't waste time to scheme the dissolution of an otherwise autonomous body, the COMELEC. Apparently the goal was to retain power in FACLA. The brazenness of the act just astounds. <

It was well and good that during the press briefing mentioned at the start the mantra by some speakers was about unity, about closure, about making efforts to refurbish the tarnished image of FACLA.

The word fraud will never be in their vocabulary, repeatedly exhorted Veronica Lo, a member of the supposedly new COMELEC. There were even those who admonished that resources would have been better spent for the advancement of the organization rather than 'wasting' them on litigations.

And so it now appears that plaintiffs Cynthia Gatus and Erlinda Guerchoum and their supporters are to be faulted for seeking the intervention of the court so that justice and fairness would be attained.

Excuse me for asking, but should there have been a display of remorse instead; acts of repentance from those responsible for the grave harm done to the organization and its membership in general and to the COMELEC in particular?

Those individuals the court had duly taken to task for their arbitrary, illegal acts, what now? Where is the shame?

I understand that Mr. Aquino and the others of the original COMELEC are capable of standing for their rights if they want to. Still, I can only feel contempt at those smug functionaries who caused the following to be posted, in effect vilifying the just and the competent:

This Honorable body found that you failed to prove and establish your innocence thru a preponderance of evidence…"

Whoa! Shouldn't it be the other way in our justice system, that is, the accuser has the burden to prove the defendant's guilt, if any?

The cease and desist and termination order has signatures over the names of Adolpino Aguayon, Jose Baldonado, Bienvenido L. Basilio, Basilisa Bigornia, Teresita Elegino, Sally Jamorabon, Francisco Rongavilla, Fender Santos, and Enrique Songalia. There were other names in the list of directors but were conveniently marked absent. Such were the pretentious factotums the court justly repudiated.

The FACLA stationary carries the name of Lorenzo Miranda, Jr., Esq., as legal counsel. He is also the attorney on record for Defendants Jose Baldonado, FACLA, Rizalino Manuel, Terry Herrera, and Ben Basilio. For the plaintiffs, Marty Rudoy.

So, now, how must one mollify the unjust humiliation inflicted upon the persons of Mssrs. Aquino, Domingo, and Salazar and their families? How come they incurred such harsh and unjust treatment when all they did was respond to the call for honest, voluntary public service?

The judge said in no uncertain terms that the act of the board in disbanding the COMELEC was illegal. Well, then, was it prompted by ignorance or malice or both? And why is it that the Aquino-led COMELEC, even with the resounding vindication by the court, is being sidelined in the conduct of the new election mandated by the same court?

In this connection, it behooves upon the members of the newly constituted COMELEC to take the honorable option of reaching into their respective consciences regarding this yucky state of affairs.

Our community

At this instance it may be pertinent to put into perspective the reason why many of us left the comfort of family and friends in the homeland and seized at the chance to come to this foreign shore. In addition to the pursuit of better opportunities for ourselves and the future generations, many of us had dreamt of a life freed from the widespread corruption and dishonesty that pervade the body politics back home.

What had been going on in FACLA is reminiscent of something we want to get away from our lives. The officers and members of the FACLA board who may be responsible for its dishonest governance have clearly lost ethical moorings and brought anguish and shame to our community. Notch that one reason why membership had plummeted sharply all these years.

Still it is possible that some of the members of FACLA would feign indifference and look the other way despite these serious wrongdoings perhaps because of friendship or convenience or some other reasons personal in nature. In that sense they would be equally guilty of these venal deeds.

As members of an upright community, however, our allegiance should be for the larger good. We owe it to our children to despise a culture of dishonesty. Those who had betrayed and brought dishonor to our good name as a people should be chastised accordingly. Forgiveness is only for the contrite.

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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Judge removes FACLA officials, orders new election May 31

LOS ANGELES -- Members of what used to be the foremost Filipino-American organization in this area will troop to the polls anew after a Superior Court judge invalidated the results of the previous election and removed the 15 members of the board of directors who had assumed office.

Judge James C. Chalfant of Dept. 85 in Los Angeles ordered a new election to be held on Sunday, May 31, 2009.

The case was initiated by Cynthia Gatus and Erlinda Guerchoum, members of the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles, Inc. (FACLA), alleging that "Defendants ignored the Bylaws and the FACLA Election Code, and conducted a fraudulent and improper 'election' on Nov.16, 2008."

The court decision dated April 16, 2009, also said "that Defendants, their agents, servants, officers and directors and those acting in concert with them ARE HEREBY RESTRAINED AND ENJOINED from:
  1. Acting, continuing to act, or purporting to act as a Director of FACLA unless they are so elected at a future election of the membership.
  2. Meeting as a Board of Directors or taking any actions as a Board of Directors of FACLA.
  3. Incurring any expenses on behalf of FACLA or spending any monies belonging to FACLA.
  4. Interfering with, or otherwise preventing the new election for the 15 members of the Board of Directors of The Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles, Inc. (FACLA) from being held on May 31, 2009."
According to plaintiffs Gatus and Guerchoum, the previous board of directors illegally extended the registration for new voters to benefit the Coalition for Better Community (CBC) in that election. CBC dominated that board and its candidates swept the November elections.

Additionally the plaintiffs contested the candidacies of CBC's Rizalino Manuel, standard bearer of the party, and Perfecto Tobias. The two were previously disqualified by the FACLA COMELEC, ruling that Manuel's was in violation of term limits while Tobias was not qualified to run at that time. That COMELEC also ruled that the board could not extend the registration of voters.

Instead, that board of directors voted to dissolve the COMELEC composed of Alfonso Aquino, chairman, and members Policronio Domingo and Jaime Salazar. A new COMELEC was constituted in their stead. The voters' registration was extended and Manuel and Tobias were allowed to run.

In sustaining the original COMELEC decisions, the court said:
The decisions of COMELEC on issues related to the conduct of an election are final and not appealable…This means that the Board of Directors had no authority to overturn COMELEC's decision concerning voter registration.5 If any Board member or FACLA member disagreed with COMELEC, its only remedy would have been mandamus review by a court... Therefore, the Board erred in extending the registration deadline for the November 16, 2008 election.
Defendants Aquino and Tobias were not qualified to run. It also commented on the board's act terminating the original COMELEC, as follows: "The court does not need to decide the issue of whether the Board illegally fired the commissioners, but it appears relatively clear that it did so. The Board of Directors purported to remove the entire COMELEC and 'ratify' this decision through a hastily called General Membership meeting. Nothing in the Bylaws allows the Board to remove a COMELEC commissioner. Nor can the General Membership vote to 'ratify' the Board's illegal actions."

In addition to Manuel and Tobias, those affected by the court's order for them to vacate FACLA positions reportedly include Adolfio Aguayon, Terry Herrera, Gloria Resureccion, Darlene Salvador, Cris Florendo, Romy Jaravate, Letty Reyes, Alice Parino, Luz Garcia, Arturo Garcia, Senen Dela Torre, Teresita Eligino, and Ricky Songalia.
The May 31 election will be from 8 am to 5 pm. Voters need to bring valid identification documents such as driver's licenses, California IDs, passports, or greencards.

Photo caption: Ousted COMELEC head Al Aquino presents to Veronica Lo (background), a member of the 'new' COMELEC, alleged proof of irregularity in the registration of voters during a press conference at FACLA.

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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Hayden Kho & his sex video scandal apology

Amazing how people like Hayden Kho has the gall of a typical Filipino politician blaming the world for their sins and yet has the temerity to portray themselves as the victim when they are clearly the victimizer.

I was floored upon seeing this statement below at TV Patrol in his crocodile tear apology that only shows his unwillingness to take responsibility for his perversion:

“People should learn to condemn the sin not the sinner.”
Ok, so what does that mean exactly? Condemn the act and excuse the perpetrator of the sin as he himself claims to have been victimized by those who stole and distributed his prized videotaped trophy sexual exploits with Katrina Halili and other young women?

The guy must have been spending too much time and getting spoiled and pampered by his former lover old enough to be his mother thus this idiotic response of trying to weasel himself out of accountability and responsibility. Well, this is the real world fool where you will have to deal with legal authorities and not a mother figure that probably will let you get away with your sleazy sexual exploits.

This is a professional a medical professional to be exact and I wonder why the Philippine Medical Association just like the incompetent Ombudsman has to wait for one of the victims to come up with an affidavit when all they need to do is prove that he was the one on the video. Enough evidence to prove that one of their members committed an immoral act not worthy to be in the profession unless we are talking of the oldest profession which is clearly not what they are. I say kick him out and take away his license because who wants to get examined butt naked by a doctor who maybe a horny voyeur?

For one the insanity plea speculation will not fly and I have to give credit to my “favorite” Lady Senator Mirriam Santiago in stressing the fact that one has to be devoid of reality as in it takes one to know one oooops no I meant she presented a clear cut explanation on what it takes to be insane. On the other hand even Lorna Kapunan the lawyer of pirated sex videotape star hayden Kho clearly states that her client will not hide behind the skirt of Vicky Belo errrr mental disorder or drugs thus there is no point why the madaya (cheater) errrr media kept on pounding the issue when it will not be raised. She further stated that Kho is willing to face the legal consequence while at the same time she stressed the need to also hold those who illegally copied and distributed the sex video to be held accountable. That is just fair and I think so too, all those responsible should be held accountable and let them suffer the consequence of their illegal acts.

Senator Bong Revilla should also stop his grandstanding and come up with legislation already to address the perversion for the sake of the women victimized by sexual predators and others who are at risk.

Hmmmmmmnn, so will we see Hayden Kho sentenced to a jail term, if so he should hope that prison authorities don’t bunk him with the toughest horny convict around. If that happens he should make sure he brings with him enough Preparation H and make sure that he is not getting videotaped too while in the company of sex starved inmates out to crown him their princess.

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Our Appointment with Destiny

The destiny of a nation is in the hands of its people, the dreamers and visionaries who love their country with pride and nobility.

The history of the Philippines is replete with heroes, men and women like you, who envisioned a peaceful, prosperous, and proud homeland with justice for all, free from oppression and abuse, even by its own people.

You are all here today because you want to help our fellow Filipinos who have been abused and neglected by their own government, whose leaders the majority voted into office.

What we are seeing is what we can always expect to happen when we elect wolves to guard our sheep.

The 2010 national elections back home will show the world either how wise and smart we are, or how dumb and stupid we can actually be, as a people.

Filipinos, in general, have always excelled in whatever they did wherever they were. One such Filipino was Jose Protacio Rizal, an Atenean who obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree in Madrid, Spain, in 1885, and who was a European trained ophthalmologist, one of very few specialists at the time, when specialization was not even popular.

In 1897, Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian Professor, described our national hero Rizal as “not only the most prominent man of his own people but the greatest man the Malayan race has produced.”

Years before Gandhi and Sun Yat Sen started their fight for freedom, Rizal, in the 1880s, already advocated and introduced what is known today as modern democracy. Through his essays, letters and novels, he espoused “such principles as the worth and dignity of the individual person, the inviolability of human rights, the innate quality of all men and races, the need for constitutional government and due process of law, faith in human reason and enlightenment, the right of the masses to public education, and belief in social progress through freedom.”

Rizal, believing in the “brilliance of his people, exhorted the Filipinos to regain the pride in themselves and in their race.”

We, global Filipinos, need to wake up and claim the glory of a people long victimized and dominated, no longer by conquering foreign powers, but by our fellow Filipinos themselves, our very own elected officials in the government, whose plunder of our nation has disenfranchised, marginalized and neglected our people, more than 25% of them now languishing in the gutter of poverty, robbed not only of clothing, food, and shelter, but of their dignity, honor, pride, and a future. As these corrupt leaders fill up their pockets and bank accounts, the poorest of the poor Filipinos go to bed at night hungry, with empty stomach and empty dreams.

This most unfortunate and sad state of our people is the reason why we are all gathered here today, some of us coming from across the seas, with resolve on our mind, compassion in our heart, and love of our people and our land of birth.

This is a wonderful humanitarian movement, and we must all support endeavors like this. But as we continue to apply bandage and pressure over the bleeding wound of our people and our nation to minimize the damage, we must also act to stop the main source, the root cause, of the massive hemorrhage, which is the cancer of graft and corruption in every level of our government.

This is where we, Filipinos around the world, must come together, even in our diversity, even without unanimity, and unite for a common cause, and inspire our people towards responsible citizenship, and our nation, towards good governance and ethical leadership.

As I have stated before, what we need is a revolution, not a revolution of arms where blood shall be shed, but a revolution of principles, priorities, attitude, and discipline, where sweat and tears shall be shed to bathe our nation clean.

First and foremost, we, Filipinos, must love our country enough and be proud of our Philippine heritage. Then, as a people, we must rearrange our prejudices and priorities, and discipline ourselves.

Indeed, the change must start in us, in “We, the People.”

Although citizens of our adopted country, we must nonetheless realize that no matter where we are, we are still Filipinos. Those who believe otherwise will have the greatest surprise of their life when they wake up one morning and look at the mirror. Like John F. Kennedy’s pride in his Irish ancestry, and Barack Obama in his African origin, we, Filipinos, in America or elsewhere, must exude in our pride as Filipinos. After all, the Philippines would be a great nation, a real pearl of the orient seas, where it not for our corrupt politicians, who have damaged the reputation of our nation, and robbed its people of self-respect and self-esteem.

Indeed, what the Philippines needs today are more UNEMPLOYED traditional politicians and a departure from traditional politics, where graft and corruption is the pervasive culture.

Happily, we see providential signs that the tide might be changing and that our people back home are opening their eyes, and seeing the light. There are at least a dozen elected officials in our government, governors and mayors, who did not have a well-established political machinery, nor financial war chest, but who nonetheless won against formidable, corrupt traditional politicians, who had all the funds and well-organized political campaign machinery.

Two of these are Pampanga miracle Governor Eddie Panlilio, who won against the well-entrenched, rich, and powerful political dynasty of the Lapids and the Pinedas, and the other is Governor Grace Padaca of Isabela. We are hopeful that these political experiments in Pampanga and Isabela, could be duplicated, replicated, in the coming 2010 national elections. Indeed, we have good signs that our people are getting to be more politically mature and wiser, especially the youth of our land.

Another good omen of the greatness of the Filipinos is the growth of humanitarian groups like Tony Meloto’s Gawad Kalinga, Ayala Foundation, R. Lewis Foundation, Kids Against Hunger, Gawad Kalusugan, Operation Blessing, International Care Ministry, World Vision, Physicians for Peace, the Gift of Life Foundation, World Surgical Foundation, Society of Philippine Surgeons in the America Charity, and dozens of others, in keeping with the biblical wisdom that we are our brother’s keepers.

All these little miracles and providential omens developing in our country and among Filipinos around the world today are a manifestation of positive things to come. Indeed, I most hopeful that the day we are all dreaming for will come, perhaps, God-willing, even sooner than we think, so long as we have the wisdom to we unite and break bread together.

When I spoke at the Good Governance Summit at the Ateneo Professional complex at Rockwell in Makati last April 29th, the more than 20 good governance organization leaders who attended, together with a hundred other religious, business, and civic leaders, were mostly young, highly energized people.

Our hero Ninoy Aquino, in a speech he never had the chance to deliver, said, “the Filipino is worth dying for.” While the assassin’s bullet had silenced his voice on August 21, 1983, his profound words of patriotism and love of country shall reverberate for generations to come.

You, who are here today, leaders of our people in your own right, embolden my sustained faith in the Filipino people. You represent what is best in humankind, and your nobility and compassion towards our fellowmen ensures the Filipino a rightful place in history. You are not only the source of hope for our people but the foundation of dignity and pride for the Philippines.

This humanitarian coalition launched today, with highly respected leaders, from Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Ayals’s Vicky Garchitorena, Greg Macabenta, Boy Abay, Johnny Montero, Dom Alvear, P. Emraida Kiram, Liz Garcia-Gray, Richard Proudfit., David Sutherland, David Liban, Jr., Kim Pascual, Modesta Lugos, Nannette Alcaro, Sofia Garcia-Buder, to every single one of you, representing various organizations, highlights the goodness in the individuals and the greatness of a people.

Leaving this world after this life is not a tragedy. Dying without significance, without making a difference, without leaving behind a good legacy, is.

You and Filipinos like you will certainly leave behind a great legacy that our children and the future generations will cherish with pride forever.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Indeed, the change must start with us, with “We, the People.”

The future is in the hands of the Filipinos at home and around the world, among those who believe in their vision and dreams.

After Rizal was executed by Spain at 7:00 in the morning on that fateful December 30, 1896, historians poignantly described Rizal, with his elbows tied behind him, upon hearing the command “Fuego!” to the firing squad, deliberately made a sudden twist to face the squad and fell on the ground on his back, facing the early morning sky and the eastern rising sun. This, they said, was perhaps Rizal’s final effort of defiance against the oppressors and symbolized his vision and dream of a glorious destiny for the Filipino people rising from the ashes of abuses and indignity.

I have an abiding faith that the Filipinos are destined for greatness and will someday rise to reclaim their lost glory and pride.

Allow me then to make this clarion call to all of you within the reach of my voice today, and to all those within the reach of yours tomorrow, to join the crusade and come together for a noble cause, to serve our poor, to renounce corruption, to reclaim our lost glory, and recapture our dignity, honor, and pride as a people and as a nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, with all these signs and symptoms of a suffering people, let us not wait for surgery to open our heart. Let us come together now as our brothers’ keepers, as our nation’s loving patriots, to serve a cause nobler and greater than ourselves, and, someday soon, make our appointment with destiny.

Thank you and have a wonderful evening.

Paper presented at the Operation: Bayanihan, a global coalition for humanitarian services for the Philippines, May 16, 2009 at Wyndham Hotel, Rosemont, Illinois. *Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana, USA, trained at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, is Chairman of Filipino United Network (FUN-USA), Vice Chairman of Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCONadvocacy) and Vice President for Far East of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America, Wichita, Kansas. He is a columnist for five newspapers and one magazine in the United States and five newspapers and one magazine in the Philippines.

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A Rebuttal to the question why Governor Panlilio has not stopped jueteng in Pampanga

Why Governor Panlilio is unable to stop jueteng in Pampanga is obvious to anyone who has an unbiased mind.

PGMA, with all her wolves in the Pampanga provincial and city and barrangay legislative and military administration, have tied down the hands of Governor Panlilio, voting down all his good plans for the people of Pampanga, undermining him every step of the way. They have tried a recount, a recall...and my even be planning for the third "R"...requiem.

How do you expect anyone to push thru his good plans, like stopping jueteng and corruption in Pampanga?

Given full support of the national administration and the military, the NBI, and the police, even you or I can stop jueteng, etc., in any town in the country.

The real question is NOT why Gov. Panlilio is unable to stop jueteng in Pampanga.

The proper and more fundamental question is, why is PGMA, with all her powers and wherewithall, with all congressional, judicial and military support, unable to stop jueteng and graft and corruption in the entire country? WHY?

Gov. Panlilio is the only presidentiable I know who is not corrupt and incorruptible....and who is openly fighting corruption, risking his saftey and his life in courageously doing so, without mincing any word.

And when elected president, he can form his cabinet and departmental heads with experts in the various fields of government, since no one is an expert in every field, not even PGMA.

Obama did just that, knowing his expertise was limited. And Obama was not even a CEO nor a Governor. Gov. Panlilio is.

There is no such thing as a perfect candidate at this time. Look at what trapo finance expert Gloria Arroyo has done to our country.

As a heart surgeon, this is how I look at the situation, in answer to those looking for a perfect candidate.

For cancer, we need a cancer expert, even if he knows only a little about diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. The other specialists can be add to our list of attending physicians and join in the overall treatment plan. There is no such thing as an all-kowing physician.

For a nation afflicted with massive cancer of corruption, we need someone already waging a war against corruption and who is incoprruptible. Not the talker who talks, like all the other presidentiables, but the talker who walks the talk, like Governor Panlilio.

Is there anyone today who is openly fighting Gloria Arroyo, non-stop, showing proofs to the public how corrupt she is? NONE...No one....

Nobody is openly and directly fighting Arroyo, with straight talks, withotu mincing words...

Only Governor Panlilio has been doing that... and, he even promised to prosecute Arroyo when he is elected president...just to show the people how serious he is against graft and corruption. The other presidentiables do not even have the balls to make that promise.

Now, tell me, who has the guts, wisdom, sense of justice, and love of country, who is NOW doing that. Only Governor Panlilio is doing that.

In this crucial time in our history, the primary criterion we need for president of our corrupt government for the 2010 elections is an executive who has no history of corruption, NOT corrupt, and is incorruptible.

And Gov. Panlilio certainly satisfies that cirterion... more than anyone else, for good governance and ethical leadership in this very critical juncture in the history of the Philippines.

Let us be smart and be wise. With a God-fearing man at the top of our government, a leader who is a proven honest, accountable, transparent, leader, our nation will be led with dignity, integrity, honor and pride. We can then look at the whole world without shame, with head up high. Of course, it will take time for him to clean our government of corruption and erradicate poverty.

But with your help, with the people's support, our common dream of a nation with honor, dignity and social justice for all, including our brothers and sisters in Mindanao, will come. Let's do this in 2010.

And unlike in 2004, let us show the world we are not dumb and stupid, by repeating the same mistake of having more thanone opposition candidate for president and splitting the votes.

Let us have only one opposition slate of candidates and support that one...and not split the votes. If we have more than one opposition presidential candidate, we might just as well throw in the towel, because if we are not united, we are guaranteed to lose... and be labelled as dumb and stupid. And we shall then deserve the continuing corruption, plunder and rape of our nation and our people.

Let's think out of the box this time and be smart, and save our nation and our people. 2010 presents a great opportunity for the miracle we are all dreaming about for our nation and for our people. The movement for good governance is growing around the world where Filipinos are. Let us seize the moment, and show the world we are intelligent and wise people.

First, let's have a decent and incorruptible president at the top. Then, the rest of our vision and dreams, and the GREAT CHANGE...will come true.

Our destiny and our future are in our hands, and within our reach....so long as we are smart and wise...

Let us wake up the powerful sleeping giant in us and make our rightful appointment with destiny.

*Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana, USA, trained at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, is Chairman of Filipino United Network (FUN-USA), Vice Chairman of Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCONadvocacy) and Vice President for Far East of Cardiovascular Hospitals of America, Wichita, Kansas. He is a columnist for five newspapers and one magazine in the United States and five newspapers and one magazine in the Philippines.

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Crumpage: My unifying theory of behavior

Bottom Line
By: Marvin Bionat

In my longstanding attempt to create a grand theory of human behavior, I have invented a new word: crumpage. Yes, move over Freud and Jung, here I come with my much simpler but more universal explanation of behavior. It will be used as the preeminent theoretical framework of behavioral science in the coming decades.

Okay, enough of my facetious thinking. First of all, crumpage is not really a unifying theory, as the pretentious title of this column indicates. I don’t even really know if existing theories are unifiable or if anyone cares about unifying them. Unifying theory just sounds more avant-garde—like trying to reconcile quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Put simply, crumpage is the amount of crumple or crease made by crumpling. As soon as we’re born, we’re dealt a piece of paper that’s been crumpled, with our face unmistakably printed on the page. Some are given a relatively neat piece of paper (low crumpage), while others have their paper really messed up (high crumpage). Each wrinkle or crease represents stress or anxiety. Needless to say, the troubled among us have very high crumpage and are bound to lead a stressful and anxiety-ridden life.

The amount of crumpage a person is born with is affected by inborn physiology. It is thus largely a genetic gift or scourge. For example, if your body tend to produce a healthy dose of serotonin—nature’s feel-good chemical—then you are likely to have low crumpage. Advance brain scanning technology is now able to tell which babies are more likely to be well-adjusted as adults. However, a highly anxious mother carrying a baby is bound to create significant crumpling. A dysfunctional childhood can make it worse.

I’m certainly not suggesting a fatalistic world view of human behavior—cast at birth and further nurtured during early childhood. In fact, this is to argue that we can take steps to overcome or manage our individual level of crumpage. At times, when all of life’s pieces fall into place (either through planning or sheer luck, or a combination of both), we feel that life is well and good and so our mental wrinkles and creases disappear—momentarily, until nature takes its course and our mental state return to “normal.” If we do nothing to keep our crumpage low, we naturally settle back to our natural level of stress and anxiety.

The important implication is that we should be deliberate about how we deal with our predisposition to stress and anxiety, because we naturally and subconsciously seek our normal level of crumpage. In fact, when there is no drama in our lives to cause us to worry, we actually create situations that will generate such drama. Why do you think we wait until the last minute to pay our bills or to leave for an appointment? Why do we cram for exams? Why don’t we save enough for emergencies? Those with high crumpage subconsciously set themselves up for stressful and anxiety-ridden situations, while those with naturally low crumpage have such a low pain threshold that they take active steps to avoid worrisome situations. They thus tend to be planners, more organized, and are wont to save more.

There are quite obvious and practical ways to minimize the wrinkles and creases in our lives. Calming activities such as meditation and exercise are proven to have de-stressing effects. In fact, serotonin levels are increased when one engages in endurance training, such as running, swimming, and yoga.

Doing or simply watching acts of kindness (even on TV) also positively affect crumpage. Shows that reward or empower disenfranchised but deserving people are not only morally uplifting; they are also great ways to unwind.

Another obvious way to lower our crumpage level is to watch our diet. Some foods tend to make us hyper, such us high levels of sugar or caffeine. Food directly affects mood, although it can be subjective—that is, one food affects one person differently than another. It is thus wise to keep a tab on what sorts of foods make one edgy and those that tend to give one a sense of well-being.

Having pets is another proven way to unwind and loosen those mental wrinkles. Dogs are popular in nursing homes and hospitals, because the loyal and friendly canines have such a relaxing effect among residents and patients. According to studies, actually taking care of a pet, or someone else other than ourselves, tend to make us happier.

Perhaps the simplest way to fight stress and anxiety is to get enough sleep or rest. When we know that staying up the night before a critical presentation at work will adversely affect our performance, then it should be our top priority to hit the sack on time.

As we deliberately lower our crumpage level, we are likely to keep it low as our anxiety threshold (that is, the maximum point at which we can tolerate anxiety) is also lowered. The result is more personal planning and organization, as we stave off avoidable stress and drama from our lives.

Marvin Bionat is the creator of PhilippineUpdate.com, a news and views site that has served as a virtual platform that promotes various advocacies, including the political empowerment of overseas Filipinos and accountability in government. He wrote the National Bookstore bestseller How to Win (or Lose) in Philippine Elections (Anvil Publishing, 1998) and is now based in the U.S. working as an editor.
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Honoring our mothers throughout the year

PHOTO: Vicky Garchitorena, president of both Ayala Foundation, Inc. and Ayala Foundation USA, officiated the launching of the Kultura Corner in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, together with key officials of Seafood City.


Vicky P. Garchitorena

Some say it smacks of commercialism. A way to rev up sales for gifts, for special dinners out at high-end restaurants, for bouquets of lovely flowers in spring.

Others are happy that one special day is set aside every year to honor the one person who means the most to almost all of us. A way to express our gratitude for all the years, weeks, days, and hours that mothers lavish on their children.

Nothing in the world – not a diamond necklace, not a hand-written letter lovingly composed, not a vacation from household chores – can adequately express our appreciation for the lives of dedication of mothers everywhere.

They kissed away the pain of childhood scratches; cheered us on when we tried our hand at sports or drama, or various contests; empathized with our broken hearts; gave us advice and recipes when we in turn became mothers.

Whether our mother is quiet, boisterous, funny, overbearing, aloof or in our face, we love her because we know that whatever she does – even if it irritates us – is done from the depth of her love for us.

How then can we really show her how much we love her?

Today, there is a growing trend of giving gifts that make a difference in the lives of others. Many birthday celebrations, wedding anniversaries, and corporate events are now used as occasions to raise funds for a cause that resonates with the celebrants.

The program GILAS (for Gearing up Internet Literacy and Access for Students) seems to have attracted its fair share of donations in this genre. GILAS is a very strategic nationwide program being implemented by a multisectoral social consortium in the Philippines. It aims to put a computer laboratory with Internet access in all 6,300 or so public high schools in the country. Already, more than 2,100 schools have connected, giving more than one million underprivileged kids access to the information available on the world wide web.

When Raymond Mendez heard about it, he immediately emailed AF USA, saying he had been looking for ten years for a way to honor his mother, who was a public school teacher in Cavite. The trouble was, he didn't know exactly where she had taught, as she had passed away some years ago.

There were six such schools in Cavite and it seemed an impossible task to find out which one was his mother's school. Fortunately, he told us that his mother had studied there in many years back and we found out that at that time, there was only one public high school there. Today, the Emiliano Tirona National High School in Cavite has a computer lab with internet access named after his mother Marilyn Abalos, a second generation FilAm, saw in GILAS a way of honoring her mother, now 94 years old. A retired Citibanker based in New York, Marilyn decided to identify a public high school in her mother's hometown – Oton, Iloilo – and to undertake a campaign to raise the $6,500 needed to put ten PCs, a Local Area Network, and internet access in the school.

She did it by sending an email to all her relatives and friends with a photo of her mother asking them to join her in this wonderful way of giving back – to her Mom, to her kababayans, and to her country. In about six months, she had reached her goal. Today, Marilyn has decided to also get more involved in the school, keeping in touch with the teachers and mentoring a number of students.

She has also decided to sponsor a second school, still in Oton.

She is a perfect model for those who may ask themselves "What can one person do to change the lives of our brothers and sisters in the home country?" Marilyn identified her goal and rallied her natural circles – first her family members (Even her nephew asked his aunts and uncles to donate to GILAS instead of giving him graduation gifts.) and then her circles of friends and former colleagues in Citibank.

She is that One Voice. She has spoken up in the name of the kids in Oton, who, with their computer and internet literacy skills, will be better prepared for the workforce because one person cared. And inspired others to do the same.

Do you want to honor your mother? Find out what city or province she is from. Then email us
garchitorena.vp@ayala.com.ph or give us a call (650) 598-3126. We will help you give her a Mother's Day gift that will live in the hearts and minds of at least 500 Filipino youth.

Happy Mother's Day!

(About the author: Vicky Garchitorena is constantly in the whirl of things being the driving force in several prestigious groups in the homeland and was the former head of Arroyo/s Presidential Management Staff and senior consultant on Poverty Alleviation and Good Governance -- remember, she resigned all her Malacanang positions a day before the so-called Hyatt 10 walked out in protest of the Garci tapes? -- that we sometimes forget that she is also a mother of five and grandmother of three. As the steady hand at the helm of the Ayala Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of the Ayala Group of Companies, Vicky is very much involved in the GILAS, a program that aims to put computer labs with Internet access in all 6,350 public high schools in the Philippines. - dg)

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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