Thursday, September 27, 2007

City of Acronyms

Makati, Manila, Quezon City... there is one common thing about the Mayors of these cities.

In Makati, they probably spent few thousands just to get those metal railings twisted to form the logo of B. From what i have heard it means "Bayan". Hehe very nice coincidence for Binay.

In Manila, former mayor Lito Atienza painted all those public fences and walls with his favorite slogan "Buhayin ang MayniLA". It's a worthy project actually... but why is the last two letters always highlighted? Does it mean Los Angeles? Does it say lets make Manila like LA? No, thats acronym for Lito Atienza ofcourse.. and has no meaning at all but just trying to put their name everywhere.

Same in Quezon City. They have this slogan "Serbisyong Bayan" posted everywhere. I think they disregarded many other cool political mottos just because it didn't bear the letters SB.. or they launched a city-wide slogan contest and letters S and B is a must-have criteria.

And in the Visayas, a friend told me there is a place (i forgot) where all street light posts where awkwardly curved to shape letter P which is believed to be in honor of a local political clan with last name starting with P (i also forgot). I don't think its for Pacquiao.

Well, in Baguio city, many public structures got the letter V logo. I guess that stands for the past mayor's last name- Vergara.

These people are sick. I believe most of them are great achievers in their own field or career and yet want their names posted everywhere and get recognized everyday. Or is it human nature? Will i do the same if i were them? Hehehe... i will never know.

Anyway here is a wonderful dusk shot of Makati skyline courtesy of

Monday, September 17, 2007

Political Confusion

I am personally convinced Erap has plundered lots of money during his time --- well, just as politicians do. But Erap is the man-- he stood all the way to his conviction saying he did nothing wrong and that people already acquitted him. I admire Ghandi, Mandela, Che Guevarra et. al. for doing their own things in history. But for Erap to make it appear he can replicate such sacrifices is a twisted belief a.k.a delusion. Its just good for him to be brave and face his enemies cause other options would tantamount to admission of guilt.

But i am also convinced Erap doesn't deserve all of it. He wasn't given a good chance. He was already convicted by Davide in 2001 and that Sandiganbayan was created just to formalize the judgment. Eventually he will end up guilty, i believe, but at least it would have been a fair fight if the impeachment trial continued. The million people in Edsa 2 should have instead shouted for the opening of the envelope and watched over the impeachment proceedings. By that, Erap would have been impeached and there will be no question on the legitimacy of Gloria's succession. The question on legitimacy brought so much pressure which eventually pushed Gloria to do EVERYTHING to win the 2004 election. Well, thats how i saw it. =)

They say Erap's conviction is a warning to all public officials and a good indication that no one is above law and that justice prevails in this country. Sounds good. And foreigners to this country would praise the verdict and blindly take the message. But for me, this can be just another sad part of our twisted political history. And the story continues with the lady who conspired with high society and exploited people power to get the presidency. Then cheated all the way to... well this will gonna be a long post, time to go.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gambling on Mutual Funds (UITF)

A MUTUAL FUND is a pool of assets managed by an investment company engaged in buying and selling securities on a regular basis - commonly banks or other financial services firms. These banks/firms have team of financial analyst/consultants who act as brokers in buying and selling stocks or other marketable securities in behalf of the fund. The "FUND" of course is from various investors/depositors who gets a certificate of unit of investment based on the Net Asset Value (NAV) per unit of the fund as of investment date. The NAV per unit is based on fund performance and on the stock market in general. The fund managers decide on which security and when to invest.

So, if today you invested in a mutual fund, your share of that fund will be computed simply as follows: Assuming the value of Total Fund today is Php90, you invested Php10 making the Total Fund Php100. Say the NAV today is Php5/unit. So, as of investment date, the fund has 20 units of investment and you own 10% or 2 units. If next month the stock market went up, that will surely drive the NAV up! Say it went up to Php10/unit, you now have Php20 from Php10 in just one month. In the same way, you can totally loose your money if the stock market plunged to its lowest. And these investments are not covered by PDIC.

This explains the financial wealth of stock brokers/ analysts/ consultants. They manage funds, not their own money, and get big commissions from big time gainers. They understand the market and can read and make good decisions out of market indicators.

I actually tried investing and lost Php 30,ooo as of today. Its now 3 months old. What i did not know when i put the investment was that the Philippine stock market is reaching its record high (in June 2007)! Which only means i will only realize gain when the stock market will reach a new record high. Tsk tsk. Gambling.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Indigenous People

Click here then here for exciting discussions on indigenous people. I guess the discussion has settled down so let me just post my opinion here.

There is no exact definition of "indigenous people", i bet even anthropologists would not agree on a precise definition. That, i think, is the root of all these issues. I say the 110 list of indigenous people is valid and that pampangos, ilocanos, tagalogs and the likes are not indigenous. They have embraced Spanish culture for centuries and they are attached and even proud of it. They are the Filipino majority. They run the government. They populate the elite society.

Igorots embraced Christianity only during the American era (not really sure hehe), have been historically differentiated from the majority Filipino and are still doing things they do long long time ago. I think that satisfies at least 90% of the supreme court definition of indigenous people.

But time will pass and the 110 list needs update. Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

San Fabian Beach, Pangasinan

My first time to see San Fabian beach was in January 2007. It was a holiday and the long beach was jammed with people, tricycles, jeepneys, trucks, and dogs. Like Divisoria during pre-christmas days. It was a terrible view to be honest. The beach has good slopes but the sand is dark-grayish to black making the water bit murky.

I was there again last week. I thought of spending my weekend in Baguio but ended up driving down to Pangasinan early Saturday. This time we stayed at PTA (Phil. Tourism Authority, wow!) beach resort which has large quarters and nice swimming pools.

san Fabian Beach, Pngasinan

The beach is still the same but looks much better without the crowd. Its a public beach and I did not see anyone cleaning the beach or sorting things. In some area, you can tell the smell of dead hermit crabs or other crustaseans -- probably of heat stoke (hehe).

San Fabian Beach, Pangasinan

Anyway, the beach is still a wonderful natural beauty.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sing Air & Inflight Movies

A cloudy afternoon in Singapore. Taken from the window of Singapore Airlines economy seat no. 67B while approaching Changi airport on my way to Mumbai.

Picked "Kenny" on the inflight movie list. A brilliant australian film about a hardworking, dedicated, all out plumber who took an aeroplane for the first time to the "Plumbers World Expo" in the States. Yeah there is a real business in shit. Its all about the life of Kenny-- being single parent, taking care of his son and Dad, his passion at work and sorts of plumbing expertise, traveling to the expo and finding new love. A simple decent life which gives the movie a serious humbling message. All business executives should watch.

Another favorite inflight movie was Korean "Miracle on First St.". A typical Korean comic flick about a real estate executive who faced a challenge in trying to evict squatters for a planned commercial housing project.

Mother & Child

Picture taken somewhere in Worli, Mumbai. With all of India's apparent wealth and becoming asia's powerhouse, poverty still looms the the streets of Mumbai.

I tried walking the streets to have some good shots. I just had few quick test shots and i got scared with the attention i am getting. First, i am one malay-chinese looking guy in a crowd of arab looking or typical indians. Second, my canon eos 30D looks cool and tempting for thugs. So I moved back and just took pictures from inside the car. More pictures here.