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What a laughable scenario, if not really disgusting. In 118 years, past presidents have the highest country debt pegged at 6.1 trillion in 2016 while duterte accomplished more than double that in five years that he is in office. We now have a staggering 13.7 trillion debt under his administration according to reports. Maybe even Nate’s great grandkids in the future will still have to pay for it. If you ask me, these last five years were the worst time in our history. I wish the ICC would hurry in its investigation of the human rights violation by the present administration.

Joeam, one of my friends at Facebook asks, “What part of due process is in killing someone? Duterte started the idea that cops should kill, dela Rosa implemented it, a whole government enabled it and media reported the deaths as if, that’s the way we do it here.”

There you go, cops got a corresponding amount for every head they gun down. Gosh, it is as if one life is not important. We never heard them arrest the drug lords. As we say in Tagalog, “kapit sila sa patalim”.

Today is another pink Wednesday. Every Wednesday and Saturday, you see everything in your newsfeed in pink. As I have said before, it is all voluntary from concerned citizens all over the land, even most Filipinos living abroad who wants democracy back.

Here is my profile photo. I am voting for VP LENI ROBREDO.

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Allow me to count the days, yes, it’s 66 days to go before Christmas.

This is vastly different from the anticipated days of the season the previous years. Around this time every year you’ll hear Christmas carols in the air and malls have lovely Christmas decor all around. Or maybe I don’t listen to a radio anymore nor watch television. Since the pandemic last year, I have only gone out twice in a mall. We just buy basic necessities online and through the grocery store in our subdivision.

Although I have completed my Christmas gifts to family, I don’t even feel that Christmas is coming so close. Everyone on social media are busy with the coming election, me included. Duterte’s minions have troll farms posting fake news every day and those vulnerable enough, the D and E crowd who don’t have enough resources to research and know the truth believe everything they see on the news. Imagine a troll having hundreds of cellphones which he uses to post fake news. So frustrating. This was how duterte won last 2016.

I believe in the pink revolution. May we be delivered from this present ugly governance.

The first photo is my profile pic on Facebook. The second was sent by a friend.

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Six to go. Yes, there are six of them running for the 2022 election for presidency, Ping Lacson, Leni Robredo, Manny Pacquiao, Bongbong Marcos, Isko Moreno, Bato dela Rosa.

Pardon if my latest blogs are all about our political situation. 2022 election is so critical, either we gain democracy by voting the right leader or we stay here while the boat is sinking. The only viable candidate among the six is VP LENI ROBREDO.

The way I understand it, the vice-president is a spare tire but during the last five years and inspite of a very minimal budget given to the Office of the Vice-President, VP Leni is focused on Covid-19, volcanic eruption, helping calamity areas that are flooded, helping those people who can’t even buy sustenance for daily living. She is always the first to respond. She is visited by the foreign dignitaries instead of their president duterte.

Bongbong Marcos is still tainted with the wealth amassed by the elder Marcos during his reign. We are still paying the billions of the ill-gotten wealth till now. Pacquiao, he might be so popular in boxing but is always an absentee senator. Useless, if the rest are qualified, he didn’t even finish high school. The rest are duterte enablers. Bato is a senator who won because of the 7-hour glitch during the 2019 election. His filing of his certificate of candidacy for president was not well planned. He was pushed by his party mates and most Filipinos’ conjecture is he is willing to have his name substituted by duterte’s daughter before November 15. I wonder why Comelec allows this. They have done it before back in 2016 when a certificate of one vying for mayor was substituted by duterte’s name. Isko Moreno, a former actor who is now mayor of Manila is so ambitious. He is a duterty enabler. In Tagalog, we call him maangas at mayabang. So proud of himself and so sure that he will be the next president.

The sea of pink as I have said before is now a movement, alive and kicking. If it is a clean and honest election come 2022, VP Leni will win.

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Goodbye February, welcome March.

I just finished a lovely book last night entitled Water From My Heart by Charles Martin. This is how they introduced it at Goodreads.

“CHARLIE FINN had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?”

I gave it five-stars. I was more interested in how life was described in Nicaragua. The spin of the story is so good. It’s more on family relationship, friendship, cut-throat competition in the business world and a love story too.

Charles Martin is one of the best writers I found years ago. I have read so many of his books and intend to find more.

February is almost at an end. Time flies, it’s been a year now since the lockdown and we’re still without vaccine, the only Asian country which seems to have no concrete plans for Covid 19. They’d rather hang streamers by sara duterte (daughter of their present president) to run next year. Pathetic!!!

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I had a good chat with a former officemate from the bank and also a schoolmate from wayback high school. She was ahead of me by two years but I knew her because she was very popular back then.

I haven’t seen her for twenty years (since I left the bank) but we recently found each other on Facebook.  What do two good friends talk about after all these years? Several, we touched on our faith, our kids, our hobbies at the moment and the happenings in the government that we both hate. There seems to be a common denominator when it comes to our views on how this country is being run.

For the first time, I watched our Vice-President  Leni Robredo attend the Congress hearing for the budget next year. Recognizing her  inspiring role as VP since she was elected back in 2016, her achievements and projects during this pandemic to help Filipinos, both the opposition and the pro-administration legislators are seeking higher budget for the Office of the Vice-President (OVP).  She received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit in 2019. The OVP has the lowest budget appropriation for the last two years. The Vice President said the OVP initially proposed a P720-million budget for 2021, but the Department of Budget and Management set a budget ceiling at P679.74 million.  She was helped by the private sector in all her projects. They’d rather extend their hands to her than to…. you know who. Whatever they come up with and approve is okay with  VP Leni.

“We make do with what we have. That has always been the case with the Office of the Vice President… Of course we will be able to help more people if we are given more. But whatever is given to us, we work with that budget,” VP Leni said. She is a frontliner, not a politician.  We have this notion that VPs are only the spare wheels of the president, right? But VP Leni is doing her job well. Some call her Busy President.

 

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So I blogged about my outstanding stats last night  and I still think that my blog posts on Mama Mary garnered the highest stats throughout the years I’ve been blogging. Hooray!

Got this early morning rants that I can’t simply ignore. I really don’t know what really is the government’s priority, it seems that they are not so focused in this pandemic. Even DOH’s daily reports seems to be lacking in substance.  We have reached almost 250,000 positive cases and it still keeps on rising every day. A few days ago, they discovered bigtime anomalies at our Philhealth system. The officials appointed by the present administration squandered 15B worth of  funds and the president just let the head of it resign because of ill-health? Amazing…in a bad way. Those funds are contributions from the working force of this nation. One is allowed voluntary  monthly contributions when you retire early until you reach the age 60. Once you become a senior, you  are not required to pay anymore. They say that by next year,  there will be no more funds for the people to use in case they are hospitalized. Philhealth deduction is the only way  that could help a patient pay her/his hospital bills. It’s our health insurance. I wonder if we will still be able to avail of it in the next few years.

Then here comes DENR  (Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources) who thought of dumping dolomite sands at Manila Bay because they want to have a white beach like what we have in Boracay. But this dolomite according to study is detrimental to our health. I wonder, once it rains hard, this might be washed away and garbage from other nearby towns would appear again at the shores of Manila Bay. Is this a priority? Duterte keeps saying that there is no more budget to sustain the treatment and prevention of COVID 19 and yet they have a budget for this synthetic sand to the tune of 389M when the baywalk  is only  500 meters in length. Environmentalists are definitely opposed to this project. Some estimated that 50M is enough, where will the remaining amount go? In their pockets? I say it is a misplaced priority.

On 30 January 2020, the Philippine Department of Health reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country with a 38-year-old female chinese national. On 7 March, the first local transmission of COVID-19 was confirmed. But they ignored it. They continued the flight of chinese nationals into the country until they found out that some chinese living here have their own hospitals where they treat chinese COVID patients. I don’t know what happened, because they were not reported again. Duque, the secretary of the Department of Health was then even proud to say that the control is manageable until it reached what we have  now. No aggressive contact tracing was done until late.  Our senators are urging Duque to resign but Duterte keeps defending him. He is so useless in DOH.

We’ve been having this CQs  (ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ) which means community quarantine since March until now. They can declare all those CQs in our midst but our economy is suffering. Many have lost their jobs and some have resorted to online selling to augment their budgets for the family. Come to think of it, this government even thought of having these small-scale/household business registered  and be taxed.  Why can’t they force those POGOs (Philippine Online Gaming Operators) from china to properly pay their taxes which are in arrears for so long now. Someone up there is beholden to china.

And the head of the nation hasn’t shown his face for I think more than a month now. He does not even stay in Malacanang.

 

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Got this on my feed at Facebook today. Sometimes, most of us are paranoid that a simple cough or runny nose is a sign of COVID-19. When I feel that I have a sore throat when I wake up in the morning, I  chew a little fresh ginger and let its juice slide down my throat and it helps big time.

I lately learned that in some hospitals,  in almost every case of death, they link  it to COVID-19 and some of them charge Philhealth so much. Did you know that there is a case of 15B missing in Philhealth’s coffers?  Corruption is rampant everywhere and I find it funny that every time we discover such, the heads of such likely corporations end up in wheelchair. Talk of Ex-Justice Corona, Pres. Gloria Arroyo, Pres. Erap Estrada and now the head of Philhealth begged to be excused from the Senate hearings because accordingly, he is on chemotherapy. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was created in 1995 to implement universal health coverage in the Philippines. It is a tax-exempt, government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) of the Philippines, and is attached to the Department of Health. A lot of people are clamoring for the resignation of the Dept. of Health Secretary but the president would not let him go even if it is obvious that the department is being mismanaged and they don’t even have complete plan to address this pandemic.  Philhealth is the only hope for us Filipinos when we are hospitalized and yet they are saying that by next year, there will no longer be funds that could be reimbursed for each patient/member  of it. Where could you find that the head/task force leader in this pandemic is a retired Army general when most nations have doctors/epidemiologists/ science researchers in their midst. Only in the Philippines.

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Lazy bug strikes again. Yes, you read it right, I am just too lazy to blog. Supposedly, yesterday, I’ve done my month-ender blog but I just read and was focused on social media.

It is truly exasperating when you have a lunatic for  a  president. He repeated that  people can use gasoline as disinfectant. The nerve of the guy. Those who blindly follow him might just do it. How can you trust  a supposed highest officer of the land  recommending something like this and who is just waiting for vaccines to end this pandemic if his attitude bores on lunacy? He sounded pretty sure that by  December, everything would be solved thru those vaccines. Sorry, I don’t trust china too.

Our health workers are so overworked that they requested for at least a two-week  enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and suburbs to give them time “to breathe”. They are already exhausted and overwhelmed by the number of positive cases that keeps on rising every day by the thousands now. VP Leni has suggested some protocols that those in-charge with COVID cases could follow but then the problem is they don’t see eye to eye with her. She is working on her own with the help of the private sectors despite lack of budget. If only the man would step down willingly and let the reigns be transferred to someone who works non-stop. He’s been saying that he is tired but does not want to let go. Ay sus! He said it himself, “inutil” siya.  That’s inutile in English guys.

Yesterday was  the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He is a Spanish Catholic priest and Theologian and is a co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Ateneo de Manila University  is the top two university of the country run by the Jesuits. Last night, I watched HOLY DARKNESS: Ignatian Spirit in the time of COVID-19, a night of songs and prayers to St. Ignatius of Loyola.  It was presented by the Jesuit Music Ministry of Jesuit Communications. Oh my gosh, I had a grand time listening  and watching it on FB. Some songs  were quite familiar because we sing them at church. Lovely, lovely music. It was like attending a concert for more than an hour of talented singers and choirs.  Before that, I also watched Fr. Pao on the Friday edition of Interaktib at Radio Veritas. They tackled the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He said that he truly appreciated a truly Ignatian education because he studied in Ateneo.

It’s raining here again. Have a happy weekend guys.

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Remember a child wanting to have a lollipop and she/he won’t stop whining until she/he gets one?

It started last election 2016. People said it was because of the seven-hour glitch that the twelve senators of the administration won. No one from the opposition made it when they had all the best candidates in the Senate. And Comelec had no explanation about that glitch. We Filipinos let it. It was followed by the the removal of a sitting senator. In September 2016, De Lima was removed from her position chairing a Senate Justice and Human Rights committee investigating extrajudicial killings. For three years now she was in jail. “On July 19, 2019, the PNP–Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against De Lima and other members of the opposition for “sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice”. On February 10, 2020, she was cleared of all charges.” But she is still in jail until now. We let that happen. Then the Supreme Court Justices voted to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno from the court on May 11, 2018, by a vote of 8–6 on a quo warranto petition. Again, we let it happen. A few months ago, Maria Ressa, one of our prominent journalists was found guilty of cyber libel. She is a co-owner and CEO of Rappler, Inc. There were several criticisms from human right groups but we Filipinos just stood by.

I try to avoid writing political blog. Nowadays, I only have those one or two liners that I add to my posts now and then. Yesterday though, my heart bled for what happened. Seventy congressmen opposed the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate. It is the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate. Only 11 of them voted for its renewal.

People were outraged and took to social media to air their disgust. I was one of them. It’s not only the 11,000 plus employees who will be affected but most of us who rely on news and entertainment from this outfit. Even those artists who are affiliated with them are affected. Even those providing services to the employees like food companies, BPOs handling their accounts and the ordinary citizens who rely daily on its operations. Big taxes will be lost, those commercial ads won’t be aired. I hope they would go digital. They also have foundations that they support like Bantay Bata.

Now I wonder, how much did a NO Vote costs? The government is rich despite its president saying that there is no more money and is thinking of selling government properties. From the start, he has been saying that the franchise won’t be renewed. What was all that thirteen Congress hearings all about? Was it just a moro-moro one? I wonder if they can still sleep at night. Sabi nung mama, vote according to your conscience, instead of saying vote according to law and what is right. In the end, they voted for their own agenda.

It smells and looks like a political agenda. Those hearings just hid the REAL INTENT – to close ABS-CBN. We are slowly dying.

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The best time to garden at least in my neck of the woods is very early in the morning, when the sun hasn’t shown its face yet and the dawn is slowly fading into light. It is also the best time to uncoil your garden hose and point the nozzle to those plants slowly waking up in their slumber.

I uprooted weeds and trimmed the sides of our concrete garden steps. Yesterday, I attempted to garden outside our perimeter wall but I only lasted for an hour. There were so many bike riders passing by and I didn’t want to be exposed to so many people outside. The snake plants we planted there are now surrounded by overgrown grass that we haven’t touched for three months now. Maybe it would take two more mornings to clean everything there. Hopefully, two Sunday mornings more.

Sad news, the Manila Trial Court convicts Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Rey Santos Jr of cyber libel. So the name of the game now is to silence your critics.

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