screw the status quo. we need change and we need it now. we need not a leader who plays with words and public funds. we need not a leader whose years of service fall under the 'fiction' category. we definitely need not a leader who knows nothing. we require a leader who has conviction, who has the guts to change the seemingly unchangeable. we need... to prepare for 2007. Now.

Monday, February 28, 2005


Is it almost March already? Has February 25 already passed? I thought that day's supposed to be a big day for this nation?

What happened last Friday? All I heard is that everyone's been scared about bomb threats scattered all around Metro Manila... for some reason. Some reason, I heard someone say. Tsk.

I took a ride at MRT at 8 o'clock in the morning, thinking that everyone should be out already, partying in front of Robinsons Galleria. But to my surprise (and disappointment), MRT was a ride as easy as November 1. I even got to sit alone on my bench. For the first time.

Have people already learned to ignore February 25? I mean, it's the day Filipinos got hold of the democracy they're enjoying now- Freedom that was taken away from them for a very long time. Or is it that they're not enjoying the democracy they've fought for nine years ago?

I heard in the news that the commemoration of the first EDSA Revolution, the real EDSA Revolution, has gone bland this year. Nasayang lang daw ang pag-declare ng holiday that day, a government official says. Ladies and gentlemen, next year, a decade after 1986, February 25 will just be just an ordinary day.

I'm not surprised, though. Living has gone really bad in this country, all because of the revolution that promised them good life years ago. People thought, after Marcos, the Philippines would finally have a chance to grow as a nation, with a new kind of government whom they fought for. We thought the "utang-na-loob" system would still work- fight for someone who shows promise in governing the country, and he/she'll definitely return the favor by really serving the people. Too bad the people had to learn the difficult way. "Utang-na-loob" in politics does not work for the people's benefit.

Come to think of it, where had all those Feb25 celebrities gone? Cardinal Sin has retired from service. Although he tries to remain the always-ignored conscience of the government, his failing health seems to push him out of the spotlight these days. As we are still in search of the country's next Sin, Cory Aquino's name has been slowly blemished by her daughter's misdeeds and the Cojuanco's political ambitions, but, regardless, remains a loving mother and an icon of a once-lively hope. Fidel Ramos have maintained an image of being "a president who has resigned from usual work", but seems to still be working in the background as the administration's no.1 supporter. Gringo Honasan's been going in and out of the opposition, but remains a covert rebel, nevertheless. Juan Ponce Enrile,... well... I don't know if he's been an ass eversince (since I was just a kid in 1986)... but I just don't know how he became associated with such a divine event. People change. All in all, they've left a mark in history, but that mark seems like a castle in the beachsand. Their memory has not enough power like Ninoy Aquino or Marcos to last that long. Specially when their presence can't be felt in the midst of the people's current sufferings.

Is really that the spirit of EDSA 1986 has faded already? I think so. Seems that the freedom that our elders had fought for is just another Aesop story. The excitement and enthusiasm to fight for an idealism has gone, specially now that people can't even afford to fight idealism even for a day. That's how the system works now... and it was no wonder why, even as Feb 25 was declared as holiday, construction sites still operate, the markets were still as busy as a beehive, and Juan de la Cruz still chose to go to work instead of thinking of celebrating what's already is an elite party. Makati and Ortigas can still afford to celebrate, however. That's why MRT wasn't crowded that day. Has the spirit of EDSA 1986 faded completely? I hope not. What's the worth of this blog if that is so?

I mean, it's such a big waste. I hear a lot of good stories about the EDSA 1986 from my old folks- stories that would really uplift your spirit, and make you teary-eyed sometimes. I've heard one story where some folks would even last two to three days without sleep, just sitting on the ground which is now the Galleria, waiting for the results of their plight while not mindful of what things to come... they were one because of one divine goal- they want change- and that's it. No politicians or celebrity to take advantage of the said event in sight- those were the only days when good politics ever existed in this country- when the common people and the elite, young and old, regardless of ethnicity and religion, became one. Those were the days when people overcame hunger, uncertainties and fear. Those were the days when the Philippines became really united by a single goal. Those were the days when I wish I was already old enough to be with them. Big sigh.

Due to corruption, there came poverty. Due to poverty, there came ignorance. And with ignorance came blind submission. Then will eventually come loss of self-worth. Juan dela Cruz is slowly becoming a zombie. I still won't be surprised if, one day, even Christmas won't be remembered in this country. Dear Mother Mary of the EDSA Shrine, I pray for another REAL revolution before that happens.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Look who's been receiving good spam lately...

1. Ever seen the latest trailer of Star Wars Episode III?

2. Ever seen new movie stills of THAT same movie?

3. Ever seen the latest news from Iraq?

4. How about the latest trailer from Fantastic Four?

Ooooh seldom do I get satisfied by these kinda spam. Teeheehee...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Thanks Philip! This spam definitely made me giggling this morning...


You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies and the economy grows.
You retire on the income.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim full employment, high bovine productivity and arrest anyone
reporting the actual numbers.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You don't have any cows.
You claim that the Indian cows belong to you.
You ask the US for financial aid, China for military aid, Britain for
warplanes, Italy for machines, Germany for technology, France for
submarines, Switzerland for loans, Russia for drugs and Japan for
You buy the cows with all this and claim exploitation by the world.

You have two cows.
You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
You profess surprise when the cow drops dead.
You put the blame on some nation with cows & naturally that nation will
be a danger to mankind.
You wage war to save the world and grab the cows.

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You reengineer them so that they live for 100 years, eat once a month
and milk themselves.

You have two cows.
They are both mad.

You have two cows.
You don't know where they are.
You break for lunch.

You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you.
You charge others for storing them.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so that they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary
and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create cute cartoon cow images called COWKIMON and market them

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 17 cows.
You give up counting and open another bottle of vodka.

You have two cows.
You slaughter one for Hari Raya Puasa and the other for Hari Raya Haji.
Just before that, both the cows were wandering along the PLUS Highways.

You have only one cow.
So the government claims there is a shortage of cows.
The government ask grants from other countries so the country can
produce more cows.
The other countries oblige.
The government divides the grants among themselves, and blames the
opposition of corruption.
The people stage People Power 42.
The government is overthrown.
Then its back to the single cow.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Word of the day


::adjective; Synonyms RETARDED, backward, dim-witted, dull, feebleminded, half-witted, moronic, simpleminded, slow, slow-witted.

Now, children, give me a sentence that uses the word "imbecile". Anyone? ;-p

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

About "VAT 2"

Nahh I'm not suggesting anarchism here... I just wish we could just get rid of those politicians once we've felt these people aren't doing their jobs well anymore. Like we don't have to wait for four years before we could try and kick 'em out of their seats. Have a legitimate and fool-proof survey running every month on how people perceive our leaders- if they suck, then they're out (or send them to exile if they reaaaaally really suck). Of course, these surveys should be administered and decided on by people who really think and are aware of the country's situation- for instance, carefully selected students from universities and colleges in the country. (But then again, there's another question: who selects the students? Hay naku... it's not "who", but "how" we select them. Think about it.)

Why not let the common people decide? Because I do think the common people needs to be educated first. We, in general, still lack national consciousness. The common people still needs to be educated. It's like doing business, the harvest may not come today, but it's still a very good investment if our goal is a nicely governed and stable country. But where's the budget for education?

But I still believe there will come a time when we'll all have a great country. Education for all is a good start. In the first place, we won't end up with bad governance and being the 1st in the list of the most corrupt countries in the world if the people knows how to vote wisely. That's why I do think it's a viscious cycle- the corrupt needs to maintain the people's ignorance, for ignorance is a great tool for manipulation. So for them, why educate the people? Keep em stupid.

Value Added Terror 2

So many things were in my mind recently, things that I just have to blurt out. Although I may be keeping those personal thoughts in mind for the meantime (since my Elmo is still away for a nice cozy chat), I'd just spill some of those thoughts here, before they rot... (notice the angry tone of words...)

1. The recent additional VAT heralded by the most kind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proves only one thing: That the president is a real enemy of the people. News reports tell us about a president who constantly contacts lawmakers who oppose this dreaded plague by phone. Although Malacañang claims that this isn’t true, as the Filipino saying goes: “Pag may usok, may apoy.” I do believe Gloria has a lot to do with this. Picture this: President Gloria calling congressmen and senators using her expensive cellphone, urging them to pass the bill that would approve VAT. It’s just too much to take.

This is a desperate move to solve the fiscal crisis of the country, passing the burden to the poor, who, as history tells us, will not budge even to the worst form of tyrannical abuse.

We strongly oppose this increase in value-added tax. In fact, we condemn it. It defies the notion that the government works for the people. It just makes it obvious that, indeed, Gloria’s government works AGAINST the people. This is not an urgent solution to the problem, as it is obvious that there are many better alternatives. Again, it’s been a decades-old notion by Jose Rizal that the only solution for a nation’s fiscal dilemma is to improve the collection of taxes and make sure that revenues are spent justly, down to the very last cent. This is the first solution, not the last one! But it seems that Gloria has many things in mind, leaving this very efficient and just solution as the last in the list.

Increased VAT as the “solution” is unfair anyway you look at it. First and foremost, what about improving the way the tax agency collects taxes? How about just being fair and get billions worth of taxes from the operations of the wealthy and powerful? I bet there’s a big percentage of debt to be paid if lawmakers and enforcers would just have the guts (and the conscience) to face this mob that owes our country a lot.

How about making sure that every cent of Juan de la Cruz’s money goes to essential projects, like public works, education, health, etc.? How about beheading these people who take away these valuable resources for personal gain?

But no! The government thinks the best way to pay our country’s debts is to pull the money out directly from the people’s pockets. The men whom we voted because we thought they’ll think of our future and our children’s future is now drawing blood out of our already tired veins, urging us to do extra work amidst our everyday struggle and low quality of life. These same people whom we trusted will be true to their promises think the poor doesn’t deserve even a little taste of leisure, so aside from adding value-added tax on the little things that the poverty-stricken can afford, they’d decide putting more dues to small pleasures like cellphone text messaging. These people think that we don’t deserve driving cheap cars, or buying fancy clothes and fastfood once a week- so they’d add taxes since they think we can’t afford them. These people think of us like carabaos- we will work as long as we eat something similar or close to grass at the end of the day. Who can imagine these people can think of the brilliant evil plans, depriving us of our small heaven?

2. Enter the major players in the fuel industry. Even as the worth of dollar decreases as weeks go buy, these people still want a one to three peso climb in their products’ prices. And they even have the guts to warn us- to scare us- that they’d increase prices every week, amidst signs contradicting their claims of the need for a weekly price hike.

These people behave as though they rule the country! (I think they do run the country… the president would almost lick their toes just to have their likes abide by her political favors.)

There are a lot of evil forces working 24/7 in this country recently. The poor isn’t enthralled by it, but they have no power to go against it. We are still weak-willed as a people, and it breaks my heart that those who keep us down on the mud are the ones whom we voted and trusted with the power that they enjoy right now. The selfish should be executed.

3. About the NLEX rehabilitation. Here’s what’s bugging me ever since the remodeling of the North Luzon Expressway started last year: Isn’t the administration supposed to be the one overseeing this? Aren’t public works and services like the North Luzon Expressway supposed to be provided by the government? So what happened? Did the government just sell their rights to the highway to some old Lopez guy? If something that big is sold, there’s got to be big money involved… where’s the money now? Why are we still in the middle of a financial crisis after selling almost all BASIC SERVICES that the government should be providing the nation?

This leads us to further questions: If the government has sold almost all the reasons why we should pay our taxes- why, then, should we still pay our taxes? We’ll be paying the Lopezes once the refurnished NLEX opens, we’re paying private companies who now run power plants and water systems, we’re paying exclusive for the food that we eat, for the clothes that we wear, for education, etc.- why, then, should we still pay the inutile leadership? They’re not helping anymore, so why should we keep them there on the pedestal? Pull them out of their chairs and throw them in some isolated island in the Antartic, let them create their own country and leave us in peace!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Value Added Terror

It’s true what they say now days if you want to piss yourself off go right ahead and watch the news. The news is becoming now a days another form of sadistic torture to the citizens of this country. I try as much as I can to appreciate our 6.1% GDP growth and the rise once more of our Philippine peso. But man oh man! Does this administration manage to always cook my goose or what? 12% VAT bill won't directly hit the consumers? And get this! They promise to make it ineffective after 3 years (didn't I hear the same bullsh!t during the Ramos administration?)! But it does not stop there! they are also planning to tax professionals such as doctors and lawyers (Boy do I see more doctors taking up nursing courses to get out of this god forsaken countries)!

Let’s recall history here. During the Ramos Administration the VAT laws were seen as the primary solution to the problem of our foreign debts. They also said that they would make the law ineffective the moment they see that there was no longer a need for such. But the VAT laws became the EVAT (Expanded Value added tax). 10 years later, not only is the VAT law still effective, it did not even reduce the amount of foreign debt that we have to pay. In fact it even increased to unimaginable heights. Fact of the matter is, 80% of our foreign debts were not even used to benefit the common people. Yet our unborn great great great great grandsons will have to pay for it. The prices of basic commodities and services made a painFULL increase just last year. Wow! Talk about perfect timing for the 12% VAT bill! And according to our "noble" congressmen we all should do our part to solve the growing budget deficit problem. All I have to say to that is... "Oh Yeah?! You first knuckle head!"

But there is simply one question here that they haven't satisfactorily answered. Why did we have a budget deficit in the first place? Doesn't the government have enough source of revenue? If they ask more taxes from its people does that necessarily mean that we will already solve our problem with budget deficit. My answer in one word is NO! in two words Hell No! Another 10 years will pass and we will still be right back where we started. It’s a simple cause and effect relationship. misallocation of the budget, government overspending, inefficient tax collection measures, and of course massive government corruption (which by the way has already become a culture Horaay! Horaay!) are some of the reasons why we have this deficit. Say for example the source of revenues, is awater flow, which is collected by a basin, and which in turn is the national treasury/budget. Then water collected from this basin is used for various government necessities. Unfortunately the basin has several holes underneath it, but the problem becomes worse because right beneath the holes is a huge vacuum that sucks all the water to where it is not supposed to be. Need I explain what the vacuum and holes represent? Ok so moving on, we can't therefore simply solve the problem by increasing the water flow. We have to fix the basin first or better yet get a new one.

So much was spent by the president herself to spoil her Generals, her Cabinet members, and even GOCC Presidents. They get High salaries, healthy benefits, luxury cars which are bought and fuelled by tax payers money, and not to mention government positions and contracts. All to assure the she has their loyalty. The one thing that scares her right now is loosing her precious political allies, otherwise she’s a sitting duck to the opposition. She did not even have the decency to reprimand GSIS president Winston Garcia for using its funds so he can make a salary loan to buy a new shiny Volvo. While there are hundreds of government employees who can't even file a salary loan so that their children can go to school? tsk tsk tsk!

Which reminds me of another thing? What happened to her austerity program? was that some sort of a suggestion or a policy? I think that was more of a publicity gimmick. As we all can see, her administration does not have the political will to implement that policy. How dare does congress ask for more taxes when they themselves manage to unliquidate 200 million pesos. And most of them are not even willing to sacrifice even a portion of their pork barrels? Yet here they are bitching us for more taxes.According also to the data of SEC and BIR, there is an estimate of about 50 billion peso worth of taxes uncollected annually. Yet tax evaders manage to shake hands with the president herself during social functions? Not to mention the 200 million worth of uncollected VAT. So tell me? Shoudn't they address this problems first before they ask us for more? Can't these people get a clue that the poor has nothing more to give?

I think the best solution for this problem is for GMA to stop being such a spineless coward and start implementing her policies with firm conviction. But of course if she does that her list of allies will grow thin, she might even have to go up against her ownhusband for the Jose Pidal issue. It’s not an easy job but someone has to do it. This is the problem of our politics, every time politicians want to do the right thing, they want the public to kiss their asses. Fact is you have to declare war if you want to reform this country, and at times you have to act like a one-man army to fight it. If tax collections are done properly and are allocated properly then I think there wouldn't be any need for a 12% VAT. And it should be made sure that tax laws in this country will be taken seriously. We should also be able declare war against corruption, and it should start by imprisoning Erap to send a strong message that no one is above the law. Ok so maybe you think I’m being overly idealistic here. But in the end, it is all a matter of political will, P-O-L-I-T-C-A-L W-I-L-L, something that progressive countries have. And oh yeah maybe GMA should take lessons from Francisco Colayco about austerity. --Ahmad