Manny Pacquiao in Bangkok

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday praised boxing superstar Manny ”Pacman” Pacquiao for being an inspiration to children in Southeast Asia.

”He helps promote Asean’s reputation,” the prime minister said after a meeting with the Filipino at Government House. ”He is a good example for children in the region and inspires them to take up boxing.”

Manny Pacquiao and PM Abhisit

Pacquiao gave Mr Abhisit a replica world championship belt and a pair of signed boxing gloves. ”I hope he does not think we are in parliament,” Mr Abhisit joked with Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa.

He was referring to a recent House session during which a government MP and an opposition member had a quarrel which almost led to a fist fight.

Mr Abhisit gave Pacquiao a basket of fruit of lychees, rambutans and oranges, and a framed picture.

Mr Abhisit and Pacquiao, the first Asian boxer to have won five world titles in five different divisions, could meet again in the political arena in the future.

Pacquiao is widely known to have ambitions to become a politician _ he was defeated as a candidate in a congressional election in 2007.

However, at a press conference yesterday he deftly side-stepped a jab about politics.

Asked if he wanted to become the president of his country, he said: ”I don’t think about it at the moment.

”Now I only focus on boxing. I will think about politics later.”

Pacquiao displayed the hallmarks of a politician when he praised Thailand during the news conference.

”I always dedicate my fights to my country,” said Pacquiao who was recently appointed an ”ambassador for peace” by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo. ”But I know that many Thais follow my fights. I am honoured that they consider my victories as theirs. I hope to be able to continue to make Thais proud.

”I also hope that this trip will help inspire Thai youth to take up sports and become the next generation of champions from Southeast Asia.”

Source: Bangkok Post

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Caught by surprise and don’t know how to reply…

Last night my nieces and nephew visited us at home after they went on a stroll in the mall with their dad (my brother). While I was having dinner, my niece approached me and asked me “Are you back in the Philippines for good or just for a short time?” I told her just a short time and I am actually flying out on Sunday (tomorrow). She asked me again, “When are you coming back home for good?”  Honestly, I was caught by surprise with her question and I realized I have not thought of the answer to that question- just yet. Then I answered her in full honesty “Baby, I don’t know yet”.  She was her usual self which is a curious little girl so she asked me anothe question “So it means you will be back here again May 08 of next year?”. I answered the affirmative.

Because of her constant prodding, I asked back Why, if I leave- will you miss me?”. She replied: “Yes, I’m gonna miss you”. Her answer again caught me by surprise and I don’t really know how to react. I was definitely touched by her affection considering her age. I know she was telling the truth because before I came home, my mom said the kids kept on calling to ask if I arrived already and they are very excited to see me.

I have to admit, I never thought I also missed them this much considering I was away for only a year and I was kinda busy with my work anyway. Since I don’t have a kid of my own yet, I make it a point to always give them something (toy, snack, clothes, etc.) whenever I could when I was still working in our country.

At times, they tend to be so obnoxious and would try to take hold of your laptop to either play games, watch a movie or draw something even if you told them you  are busy with work and they should play elsewhere. I realized time flies so fast. Now, they are all in pre-school and are actually top of their class and I am very proud of them. Well, I am not surprised with this fact because I believe it runs in their blood.. ha ha ha! Just kidding.

To kelsey, hans, lexi, gaby and carl- your tito will miss all of you. please be good and I will see you all soon.

Of life’s ironies, indifferences and importance

The other day I was in POEA to secure my Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). I asked the Security Officer on duty where I was supposed to go to have this certificate. I was told to go straight ahead to a big and enclosed office inside the main building. It was still early in the morning (around 8 am) but the room was very crowded with OFW’s trying to get the same paper for clearance before they leave the country. Fortunately, the room is air conditioned and has many seats available. There was even a booth that offers fast service with an option for home delivery of the certificate at an added fee which I believe is reasonable enough if compared to the time you need to spend to queue and wait for your number to be called. The certificate reached our home as promised, within 24 hours…

This is totally the opposite scenario when last year I tried securing my certificate as first time OFW. We were asked to sit outside the building. Yes, it was covered but the summer sun makes it scorchingly hot and unfortunately, no electric fans were available. We had to sit there for more than 2 hours because 1.) we had to be there early so we can be the first in line and since they have cut-off in number of applications to be processed per day you have to be there before 8 am 2.) there was a flag ceremony that day so we had to wait before we were allowed entry inside the building.

Upstairs, there was a waiting area (again covered but no airconditioning unit available). There was a big industrial fan but is not oscillating so only those few fortunate applicants in front of the fan do not feel the heat which is actually suffocating because of the enclosed space. The seats in that room were  dilapidated and ready to retire any time. After another 1.5 hours of waiting, my number was finally called to be evaluated then I had to attend the PDOS and all other requirements prior to payment.

What am I trying to point out in these 2 scenarios which is basically 12 months apart?  I personally feel there was a sort of discrimination in the application process. If this Government agency can provide a nice, air conditioned room with sufficient seats available then why not give this “privilege” to all applicants? Why give “special treatment” to returning OFW’s only?

I have no objections whatsoever about this “privilege”, as I feel we OFW’s should be given due treatment considering the major contribution of our remittances to the country’s economy. However, I feel this standard should be given to all citizens without any questions or hesitations. I hope my assumption about discrimination in this office is wrong but true or not, I definitely feel the need to improve our Civil service.

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 We’ve heard about Alec Baldwin’s unfavorable remark about Filipinas being tagged as mail-order brides in David Letterman’s show.

Recently, Chip Tsao branded the Philippines as a Nation of Servants.

In an episode of Desperate Housewives, Teri Hatcher questioned the credibility of Filipino Doctors..

Then everyday, somewhere in the world, OFW’s and Filipino Immigrants are working their ass out to avoid discrimination in the workplace or thecommunity and to prove to the world that Filipinos are world-class and should not be belittled.

The list gets longer and longer….

Everytime we hear such stories, we Filipinos tend to unite and speak out to rebuke those negative remarks or impressions. We are doing all our damn best(est to the highest level) so that one day, the world will recognize the Philippines as a great nation with exceptional citizens. 

Isn’t it ironic that while other Filipinos are doing all these efforts to prove our detractors wrong, here comes a new scandal that would again, tarnish the reputation of Filipinas and sadly, the perpetrators are Filipinos themselves… It is about the Sex Video of Hayden Kho and the ladies- Katrina Halili and Maricar Reyes. The culprit who spread out the video on the internet is unknown yet but there were speculations that it is someone close to the Pervert Doctor.  Yes, porn is everywhere but instances such as these adds up to the negative impression of us Filipinos. 

Instead of exerting efforts to spread out videos such as these which would definitely destroy the reputation of the people involved, why not use our energy and resources to spread to the world the accomplishments of Filipinos such as Manny Pacquiao and Charice Pempengco. Surely their videos will not cost PHP 2 Million (as what the price of the Sex scandal video was reported to have been sold) but it’s about time we bring back our dignity and respect so we Filipinos can be important in the eyes of the world…

The Curious Case of Trina and Ted Failon (Conclusion)

Now it can be told, Trina Etong (Failon) was not murdered. She committed suicide as what the forensic experts and NBI have concluded.

“After perusal of testimonial evidence and conscientious evaluation of the results, recommendations and conclusions of the criminologists, working as a team, as regards to their investigative, technical, scientific, medical, and psychiatric analysis, [the NBI] thereby concludes that Trinidad Arteche-Etong indeed committed suicide,” NBI Director Nelson Mantaring said in a press conference at the bureau’s headquarters in Manila.

With this development, the Etong family can finally put to rest all speculations that there was foul play on the death of the matriarch and they can move on with their lives especially Ted Failon who took many blows and had to defend himself unnecessarily because of the untimely death of his wife.

A Question of Dignity because of a Doctor’s Perversity

The Hayden Kho-Katrina Halili sex video scandal is hugging the news lately. The supposed private affair of these two celebrities became literally out in the open with copies of the video spreading in the internet as well as the sidewalks faster than the deadly A H1N1 virus.

There are mixed reactions from bloggers and the general public about this issue. Some say it is the Karma of Katrina, Maricar Reyes and all the ladies involved in the illicit affair with the Doctor because they know that during that time, Hayden is so much attached to Dr. Vicki Belo which Katrina acknowledged this fact in some interviews. Unfortunately, she got more than what she asked for.

However, the underlying issue here is about keeping the dignity of these persons (ladies for that matter). Yes, they got involved with this guy (read as: Pervert) without thinking of the possible repercussions of the act but this fact is not enough a basis to spread out the “escapades” in public. Whoever loaded these videos in the internet has only one purpose, that is to destroy the dignity and reputation of the people involved. The Doctor claimed he is not responsible for this act as the laptop where all the videos were stored were no longer in his possession but the more pressing question is “Why take video of the sexual act in the first place?” It seems the ladies involved don’t know they are being filmed. Talk about the perverse habit of a supposed educated, refined and intelligent man.

Prior to these issues, Hayden Kho has a promising career even without Vicki Belo on his side. Now, all these aspirations will surely go down the drain…

As for Katrina and the other ladies, yes they were victimized. Surely they are bruised, laughed upon and insulted. How they will bring their dignity and self-respect back is the big question mark at this point in their lives. On a positive note, the public tend to forget easily…though the damage has been done, people will forget it soon.. When another issue pop-out, they will no longer remember that one day, they saw these ladies in a very compromising act in a Hayden (read as: hidden) video cam.

Fame really has a precious price to pay…tsk, tsk, tsk..

leaving home soon…

today i started packing some of my things as I may not have time to properly pack the things I need to bring out after my very short holiday back home..seems time is moving so fast. surely there are some friends whom i may not have visited or set appointments to meet up because of the very tight schedule wherein I had to juggle some personal appointments with official business affairs. Talk about working during a supposed holiday. No regret though cos it really is part of the job. You need to stay connected to know what’s going on otherwise, it will be like being on your first day of work again once the holiday is over…

Anyway, to all my friends and relatives whom I am unable to see and catch up during my trip back home, I am really sorry. I hope to make it up with all of you next time or if you have the opportunity to fly and visit me, I will be very pleased to be your guide. Just don’t forget to bring all those Pinoy stuffs when you visit huh?

Talking about the Pinoy stuffs, I need to be loaded with a year’s supply of these items as they tend to either be unavailable overseas or the cost is double if not triple than the cost here in Manila. I made a run down of all the items I will be bringing–here it goes…

1.) Barrio Fiesta Bagoong/Alamang
2.) Sinigang Mix
3.) Kare-Kare Mix
4.) Pancit Palabok Mix
5.) Ginisa Mix
6.) Pancit Canton
7.) Liver Spread
8.) Purefoods Corned Beef
9.) Boy Bawang
10.) Corn Bits
11.) Daing na Bangus
12.) Silver Swan Soy Sauce
13.) various spices and Herbs
14.) Sky Flakes
15.) Chippy
16.) Mr. Chips
17.) Biogesic and other medicines

and many many more items. I am actually worried cos the customs might think I will be selling all these items abroad. hahaha! Just kidding. Well, actually not a bad idea considering the demnd is high for these products overseas. However, the things I will be bringing is not for public consumption but just for me and my friends to share. 🙂

In a few day’s time I will be leaving home soon for another journey to a foreign land I tagged as my 2nd home…surely I will miss my family, loved ones and friends but I know I will be fine..besides I will be back a year from now or maybe shorter if God permits..

hidden talent

talent shows are so popular these days and I am wondering, are people born these days have more talent than my generation? I am not old but seeing how good these participants sing, dance, model or act on stage I feel like a super normal guy without any extraordinary talent to boast of..

earlier, I saw my 2 year old niece doing a split leg move..awww. Its so funny that small as she is and without any instructions from us adults, she is able to do those things flawlessly to everyone’s delight.

now, i am wondering…is there any hidden talent that I have? or it is still hidden in the depths of my consciousness? ha ha ha. I hope I uncover it soon.