Red Horse Beer Also Has Stories to Tell

Desiderata always remind me to listen. I listen to anyone. I learn to listen to silence. I listen to everything and everyone around me.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.


 I listen to Red Horse Beer. Yes, every bottle and can of Red Horse Beer has its own stories to tell.

Look at this beer. Alone; but does it look lonely?

You can’t tell, of course!

Bottles of beer need to be alone sometimes. Being alone isn’t loneliness but a great chance to make a difference. Being alone is not boredom; it’s a big happy and peaceful party!

We don’t just drink beer. We need to listen to the stories of beer.

Because even bottles of beer, they too, have great stories to tell!

Chief Justice Corona as true believer of Justice

I hope tomorrow never comes. I am certain that tomorrow, the time the Impeachment Court will decide whether CJ Corona is guilty or innocent, will mark another scar in our history.

My friends have known that I am on the side of innocence of the Chief Justice. I am basing on the accusations and not on the side issues and mudslinging of the prosecution.

After hearing the both sides, I told my friends that Chief Justice Renato Corona has not committed impeachable offense but rather he committed mistakes by not lining up as President Noynoy Aquino’s ever loyal ally.

The impeachment trial exposed to us various mind-boggling revelations. It exposed to us the well orchestrated movements of the government agencies to favor President Aquino’s desire to oust the Chief Justice.

I will wait until tomorrow and whatever the verdict of the Impeachment Court, I would accept it. I have full trust to Senator-Judges except Sen. Franklin Drilon and Sen. Antonio Trillanes.

Based on their pronouncement and actuation, Sen. Drilon and Sen. Triallanes would vote based on personal bias rather than based on what were presented. Whether they hear the arguments or not nor whether they scrutinize the evidences or not, I believe Sen. Drilon and Sen. Trillanes would vote for conviction.

I think the best return Sen. Antonio Trillanes would be getting would be a slot in senate slate of the administration party on the 2013 midterm elections. Sometimes, election matters rather than principle.

It is bad when ordinary citizen like me would suspect the objectivity of some Senator-Judges. It is unhealthy for the Senators to get shades of suspicion of being bias and being one of President’s men.

The Chief Justice is a true believer of justice. If not, he should have resigned. But like unpopular hero, he subjected himself to severe pains of prejudice. He had sustained the pains and trouble of trial by publicity. I commend him for setting good example of facing the political vengeance of this administration.

Problems and Politics

I have serious political problems. Shame on me but I have been talking like a true politician. My life sometimes is a great political joke that gets elected!

Sunday. I got a serious matter in my mind that needed careful deliberation.

Alone (not all politicians ally with political party, eh), I went to Sto. Nino Church to say my serenity prayer and headed towards Balyuan.

I felt in love with the place many times but yesterday, the place seemed dry as the President’s speeches. I felt a little sad but I was smiling like a mad. Crazy politics!

In my mind, I was solemnly deleberating my next major decision. Like our Senators I have serious relationship problems.

It seems to me that loving someone is as risky as running for the Senate. There is risk of being cheated (dagdag-bawas, perhaps); the risk of losing after investing time and money.

Without a hint – unpredicatably – a couple, both my sangkay – arrived. Of course you would expect them to ask me why I was alone.

I told them in a matter of fact tone that I was thinking of the fate of Chief Justice Renato Corona. It looked like both of them believed. Well, I likewise believed in that lie, too.

But what do you expect me to say?

I have learned the beauty of concealing what I feel. I have learned the craft of true politicians.

I ended up with cans of Red Horse Beer and pancit canton. With nothing in mind. Just like how our legislators slept underneath the Reproductive Health Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill!

That’s life’s most unlikely combination.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales as Pres. Aquino’s loyal ally

Even before Chief Justice Renato Corona told the impeachment court that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales allowed herself to be used by Malacanang, I already saw the Ombudsman being used to advance the interest of President Aquino.

It is sad that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the one who replace Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez is equally undesirable for being too loyal to the one who appoint her.

I call for immediate resignation of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales! She already had lost the trust and confidence of the people. Who will protect the people whom President Aquino dislike? None if Ombudsman Morales.

I think Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had continue to destroy the pillar of the office of the Ombudsman. If she has the still conscience, she must resign.

I’m afraid that for several instances the office of the Ombudsman will be used by President Aquino in his vengeance. I am afraid that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales will continue to allow herself to be used.

Too many people are being used by this administration. And the President used his power to pin down anyone who go against him while tolerating his friends who caused trouble like Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas.

Some women are even used to give us the impression that the President has interest with women even the fact is that he has no plans of getting intimate relationship with women. His age and his status would prove that.

Some congressmen and senators also allowed themselves to be used by President Aquino.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is just one of them.

So, who’s next? I hope Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales will resign soon.

Sen. Franklin Drilon and the 188 Congressmen must be transparent too!

Sen. Franklin Drilon, who looked like and been tagged as most biased Senator-Judge in impeachment trial must take the challenge and open to the public his bank accounts and all his properties. He will become the holier than thou hero if he would be doing it. But of course, I don’t expect him to do so. He too, has his own stories to conceal.

I believe Congressman Niel Tupas,Jr. cannot sleep tonight because he too, will soon need to reveal his wealth. Actually, his credibility is already tarnished when reports about his mansion went to public. I don’t trust him, especially when I learned how his family got the rewards for his role in the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona. Rep. Tupas has also his own stories to conceal. Besides, he looked incompetent in the impeachment trial, which make me think if he really knew what he was doing or he was just following the will of the President to get some favors.

And what about the 188 Congressmen who signed the Impeachment Complaint? How about those who signed the without reading it? Will Cong. Niel Tupas agree to reveal in public his wealth if President Noynoy Aquino ask him to do so?

These men, as well those who are drooling for Palace attention are talking about transparency and accountability but look at them. Have they not noticed how the President defended his men? Did they forget that Aquino’s friends like political adviser for affairs Ronald Llamas has two major mistakes that was defended gracefully by the Palace?

The challenge of CJ Renato Corona to Sen. Drilon and the 188 congressmen must remind us that we should not single out the Chief Justice.

Because they too, have their dark stories to reveal!

Tacloban City: More than 4,000 Homeless in Sagkahan

It should have been an ordinary Sunday. But it was a tragic day for the people in Barangay 60, 60-A and 61 in Sagkahan, Tacloban City when a big fire left more than four thousand homeless according to reports.

When I heard the news, my sangkay (close friend) and I prepared to see the area and these were  (see images below) what we saw.

Fathers, brothers, and even children like the three children below tried to salvage anything that can be sold or can be used.

Many people came to see the site even there are still remaining burning pieces. I believe the authorities had done investigations – the reason why people are allowed to inspect the site.

People also started to cordon small areas – most likely the site where their houses used to stand – a hint that they will soon rebuild their homes.

Continue reading

Must see in Tacloban

Many things to see, many people to meet, a rich and unique culture to assimilate!

I shouted this out in private when I arrived in Tacloban City and began breathing its still clean air. Tacloban, now categorized as highly urbanized city, still has the look and feel of a component city. Except in some isolated areas, the city is generally clean.

At first, Tacloban looked like just other cities in the Philippines I have visited. Life is not as complicated like those in metropolitan areas. Later, I began to see and feel what makes Tacloban different from other cities.

The downtown buildings looked like those in Manalili – Colon area in Cebu City. The building designs speak of its age. Tricycles are jamming the downtown thoroughfares, and people are crowding in “pirated” alleys to get the best pirated copies of movies. I think presidential adviser for political affairs Ronald Llamas would be safe to buy pirated stuff here because no one may recognize him.

Just like other cities, people are not segregating garbage and just throw bags-full of rubbish of any kind along streets. Thanks God, garbage collectors never fail to get the rubbish. And just like other cities, people in Tacloban have “a little” water problem. And politics is not a good as others, too!

I have not judged Tacloban based on those things. I only saw a little and I need to see and experience a little more.

On my second week here, a trainee from Cebu arrived. It was good for me to have a Cebuano fellow who equally love discovering people, culture, and places.

While having coffee talk at Robinson’s Mall, an idea popped up. Then we decided to rent a car and stroll around. Our priorities was to go to “must see” in Tacloban and nearby places.

McArthur Monument (Leyte Landing Memorial) in Palo, Leyte

Palo, according to a new friend has very good Tuba (coconut wine) but what makes it famous was the landing of Gen. Douglas McArthur during liberation in World War II. McArthur Monument’s backdrop is the equally famous Leyte Gulf, the setting of one of the largest naval battle in modern war history.

How I wish I could talk to the waters that race from Leyte Gulf to kiss the breakwater at McArthur Monument. I would ask the water how it feels to become part of history.

Santo Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum

I had no idea what Sto. Nino Shrine was except that our driver who also served as our tour guide told us that Sto. Nino Shrine is tourist destination in Tacloban.

As we paid the entrance fee, I thought it was a religious museum as the entrance is facing the elegant chapel.

But I have not seen many religious relics. I saw, instead, political past and the elegance and extravagance of the 20-year rule.

Sto. Nino Shrine is one of the many structures conceptualized and built by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. told readers:

The Museum consists of 13 rooms, each housing different objects and relics, arranged according to certain themes. There are also several precious art paintings, ranging from religious images, depictions about Filipino mythology and classical pieces by Fernando Amorsolo.

Unfortunately, I have not seen the paintings of Amorsolo but I saw one by Malang.

I learned later, after reading books about Imelda Marcos by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa,  a small house of Imelda and her family used to stand in the same place where Sto. Nino shrine now stands. I think Sto. Nino Shrine was built to erase some remarkable memory of Imelda’s past.

Price Mansion

The Price (Walter Scott Price) mansion now houses some offices and used to be the CAP office. One must not expect the mansion to be as beautiful and elegant as Boracay mansion of former President Joseph Estrada or as modern-looking as the mansions of Ampatuans. Price looks old and stressed. Creepy, I told my companion.

But for one who has the eye and heart for history, Price Mansion is such a beautiful place even if it looked like being abandoned by its loyal servants. The mansion took an important part in history having become Mc Arthur’s shelter during his stay in Tacloban.

McArthur’s room is rich in war memorabilia. I have seen disturbing and inspiring was images and war documents as well. I promised to get back to the place to have better view of World War II.

San Juanico Bridge (Marcos Bridge)

A college friend once told that “the longer, the bigger, the better” and when we talk about things the question should always be “is it big?”; “is it long?”. If yes, then the thing becomes “must see” and “must feel”.

Perhaps the length of San Juanico Bridge makes it famous or perhaps because it is Marcos’ bridge of love.

Whatever the reasons of people, my reason is simple. I just want to see it and cross it (to give me the feeling of a conqueror).

San Juanico Bridge was our last point in our 4-hour tour. We had not stopped ourselves from getting out of the car at middle of the bridge and took pictures (using mobile phone) even it rained that time.

My adoration was not with the bridge. I was falling in love with the strait where the bridge crosses – the San Juanico Strait!

After crossing the bridge, we went our way towards Tacloban City.

Tacloban’s Attraction

There are others we missed but I have visited few days later like Balyuan. I learned that there used to have watch tower in the place. Now, a beautiful Balyuan Ampitheater stands in the place.

Recently, I learned that there is an issue on ownership of the called as Balyuan Property, a 24 hectare property where the Tacloban City Hall stands, the Balyuan Ampitheater and many other city offices. The property is claimed by Province of Leyte. I am uncertain on the future of Balyuan.

Another places to visit are Family Park, Leyte Park, and Sto. Nino Church.

There are many other places to go. Tacloban has fine restaurants, good hotel, and hospitable people.

Perhaps the best place to visit is the home or ordinary family in Tacloban. From that home, we learn much about this city.