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Category: Current Affairs

Why I’m Going to the Million People March

9:23 am PHT

At first, I disapproved of the idea that any citizen should evade paying tax on the sole reason that it will just be corrupted by the government. Even if we know that corruption is rampant, I thought that this was no excuse for us not to do our civic duty of paying taxes. As Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” I guess I was surprised by the revelation of BIR that some professional pay less income tax than public school teachers.

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Tropical Storm Ondoy and Park 9

3:01 am PHT

Our house and immediate vicinity was pretty much spared from all the flooding that beset the metropolis and the surrounding areas. Aside from the fact that our terrace completely flooded due to inadequate drainage and which almost brought some rainwater into the house, it was a pretty much run-of-the-mill stormy day for us in our household. So I was pretty much oblivious to the widespread calamity and record-breaking rainfall. It was only a few hours ago when I decided to browse around that I freaked out with what I saw.

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To the Lady in Yellow

11:39 pm PHT

Over the past two days, I have read plenty of moving, eloquent, and honorable pieces giving tribute to our former president. I wanted to write one equally as beautiful but then I realized, why should I agonize wanting to create my perfect essay to President Aquino? She was a simple lady and a simple tribute would do quite as well.

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Unyielding Hope

11:50 pm PHT

“And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world—our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down—we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security—we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright, tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.”

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Filipino’s Memristor is Now a Reality

2:32 am PHT

The big news that’s rocking the physics, electrical and electronics engineering fields is the proof of the existence of the memristor. “Mem-what?” Well, that’s what my initial reaction was, too. The memristor is apparently the missing fourth fundamental basic element of electrical circuits, alongside the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor. And the cool thing about this is that the memristor was first hypothesized in 1971 by Leon Chua, a Filipino-American professor at the University of California at Berkeley who got his degree in B.S. Electrical Engineering at the Mapúa Institute of Technology in 1959, here in the Philippines! Yay, Pinoy!

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Libel, and Choosing your Battles

11:48 pm PHT

Two weeks ago, a few bloggers and I got to talk to a journalist who had the experience of being charged with libel and spending overnight in jail. I won’t mention the journalist’s name because she requested it, but the insights she provided about libel were quite enlightening, to say the least, especially since bloggers are affected by it too.

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Intel Cavite Closing Down, for Real?

2:35 pm PHT

Almost one year ago, Yuga raised the alarm that Intel might move their Cavite operations to Dalian, China. Well, it didn’t happen at that time. Also, when Intel announced last year that they will sell off their flash memory unit to form a new company called Numonyx, the closing fears circulated the rumor mill again since half of the operations at Intel Cavite was in the manufacturing of flash memory. Well, just yesterday, an internal announcement came that Intel Cavite might close off for good within the next six to nine months.

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Manila Earth Hour 2008 Aftermath

2:17 pm PHT

San Francisco just finished their turn at Earth Hour about two hours ago, and more than 17 hours after Metro Manila switched off its own lights. Earth Hour is a viral movement that started in Sydney, Australia last year and became an international affair in 2008 as 28 partner cities and hundreds more supporting towns and cities switch off lights and other non-essential electrical devices for one hour to raise awareness about global warming and climate change.

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Rally Fatigue

12:47 am PHT

Yes, I’ll admit that I’m having rally fatigue. So, unless our dear Madame President did some really egregious blunder that threatens to stabilize everything we Filipinos have struggled for (the ZTE mess doesn’t), you won’t see me marching up the streets and cheering Cory and Erap (a mightily strange tandem, I must say) and asking for GMA’s resignation.

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%#$@ Curfew!

2:13 am PHT

I’m not stark raving mad, but I’m definitely fuming.

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Conspiracy Theory

1:36 pm PHT

Huwhat? Erap is asking President Arroyo for a pardon? Why would Erap, who has never acknowledged Arroyo as a legitimate president, now ask Arroyo for a pardon, which only a legitimate president can give? This is a conspiracy! Arroyo and her cohorts have bribed Erap and appealed to his nature by dangling the ailing condition of his beloved mother in his face! They did this to take the heat away from the ZTE National Broadband Network controversy and the recent cash-handout scandal!

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Let’s Offer a Moment of Silence…

1:22 am PHT

…to offer sympathy, prayers, and support to the victims of the recent explosion at Glorietta 2. But first:

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Are You Offended That I’m Not That Offended?

1:13 am PHT

In the latest controversy spreading across the global Filipino community, much (and maybe too much) has been said about the Desperate Housewives fictional character Susan Mayer’s neurotic comment about the state of medical education in the Philippines. And yes, I’m adding to the cacophony by blogging about the issue but my opinion is that while the controversial line is quite disparaging to the thousands of doctors, nurses, and med tech representatives that have graduated from reputable schools and provide more than competent health service to Americans (even at the cost of dwindling service to the Philippines), I’m not offended enough that I feel the need to support the call for a boycott or sign a online petition.

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On Scams and Schemes

4:48 pm PHT

You all should know by now about the recent news about Ponzi schemes and other high-yield investment programs on the Web that promise incredible returns by just forking over your money. Most thinking people should know by now that investing in such schemes is just plain greedy. So I’m just shocked, really shocked, to read several of the reader comments on this blog post, which discusses these online scams. Update: Here is another blog post with illogical reader comments.

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Feels Great to be Pinoy

11:27 pm PHT

I’ve been tagged by Rico over a week ago with Marc’s meme and I’ve finally decided to write my thoughts about the topic down. Despite many things that are embarrassing about this country, I’m still proud to be a Filipino and I’m still not considering migrating to “greener pastures” despite others saying that my talents and intellect would be wasted here.

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An Analysis of Presidential Elections

1:21 pm PHT

If you understand the title, then it sounds intuitive doesn’t it? If you have a plurality elections (like what we have here in the Philippines), then the more candidates there are, the lower the probability of the winner getting the majority votes. To interpret that in another way and to put it into statistical terms, there is an inverse correlation between the number of candidates and the percentage of votes that the winning candidate gets.

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Extending the Right to Vote

5:40 pm PHT

We all know that voting is a right and not a privilege. In a democratic society, we, the people, have a say on how the country should be run. And so we elect people into public positions who we believe are capable of running their jurisdictions the way we want it.

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Cleanest Elections in Two Decades?

7:41 pm PHT

Literally. I’m amazed that with less than five weeks before the 2007 Philippine election, it doesn’t feel like there is any upcoming election when you go out on the streets. The dearth of posters, banners, streamers, flags, stickers, banderitas, and other election paraphernalia is quite an unexpected, yet welcome change. I guess the politicians are heeding the COMELEC order quite well.

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Wikipedia and Credibility

1:05 am PHT

A top editor of Wikipedia was forced to resign his positions of authority amidst community outrage that he has been contributing under false pretenses. This scandal is possibly Wikipedia’s biggest test of credibility since the Seigenthaler controversy two years ago. See more coverage on Google News and Technorati.

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An Inconvenient Truth

3:47 am PHT

Ever since I read last year a blog post about Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth from superblogger Kottke, I knew that it was one film that I would definitely watch. I was fortunate enough to happen to view the movie ads in a newspaper and to particularly learn that SM would have a limited screening of the documentary. (I’m not sure, but I think there was an earlier screening of this film when I was in Japan.)

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The iPod as a Purchasing Power Parity Measure?

4:16 am PHT

I read an interesting business article yesterday saying that an Australian bank has developed a new purchasing power parity index called the iPod Index. We all know about foreign exchange rates. But we also know that just because the U.S. dollar is equivalent to 49 Philippine pesos, does not mean that an apple that sells for 50 cents in California will go for 24.50 pesos in Cebu.

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Down with the Parliament!

12:10 pm PHT

If the purported new Philippine Constitution will make the Philippine government a parliamentary system, I would vote it down and encourage others to do the same in the plebiscite that seeks the new constitution’s approval.

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Viva Il Papa

2:28 pm PHT

This entry is a tribute to a holy man who has led my Church for all my life. I have never known any other pope and I’m glad he was my pope since he is one of the most respected and most charismatic popes of the 20th century.

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The World Shakes Anew

5:16 am PHT

There was another large earthquake that struck almost exactly five hours ago on the same fault line as the earthquake that struck December 26 last year. Fortunately, there were no tsunamis reported from this 8.7 magnitude quake.

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Radical Traffic Management Won’t Work in Metro Manila

9:15 pm PHT

The article “Roads Gone Wild” from Wired Magazine explains a very interesting proposition: Remove the signs and all the marks that indicate traffic management from the roads and traffic will flow smoother, accidents will decrease, and heaven will come to earth because everyone isn’t sure where everything is on the road.

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I’m So Glad I’m Not American

10:57 pm PHT

I’m so glad I’m not a citizen of a country where 51% of its people would rather have a president that lies, is incompetent, is greedy, and is a bigot.

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Fahrenheit 9/11

9:52 am PHT

Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 is one piece of brilliant propaganda. Propaganda? Yes. Documentary? Not really. Anyone who thinks critically should at least see that Michael Moore is definitely taking potshots (some below the belt) at an incumbent president.

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