Today being VALENTINE’S DAY is a day for Lovers. But who is a lover? Everyone should be a lover, indeed, otherwise life would be meaningless, colorless, and empty. Isn’t it true that everybody loves a lover, and that it’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?
And, above all, didn’t Christ die for the love of mankind? A man who does not have love in his heart maybe likened to a car without an engine, a tree without its roots, a bird without wings, and cannot fly, or a sinner completely separated from his Creator. How sad, how tragic.
DID IT ALSO SAY SORRY OVER FILIPINO DEATHS IN BEIJING?
It’s a tit for tat situation!
Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has reiterated his position not to issue an official apology to Hong Kong over the 2010 Manila bus hostage incident.
As reported by InterAksyon.com, the Philippine head of state cited two unfortunate incidents in the past when several beleaguered Filipinos were killed in mainland China, no apology whatsoever or compensation ever came from the Chinese government. Not even an "I am sorry" from its officialdom.
The twin incidents referred to by the President were: A Filipina doctor from Cavite who was killed by a wayward vehicle, and the father with his daughter who were killed by a knife-wielding Chinaman, both in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. This was bared recently by PCOO Secretary and Palace spokesman Herminio "Sonny" Coloma in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan last Wednesday.
The laudable efforts of Congressman Alfredo "Albee" Benitez in holding the first Education Summit in his district, (3rd District – Negros Occ.) should serve as a wake up call for all other congressmen not only in Negros Occidental but similar congressional districts all over the country to also do the same, if only to focus attention on the basic needs and have a deeper look into the many problems that plague the public education sector of the whole country.
It is no secret that education is the "magic engine" that empowers the country’s unending search for a well-placed manpower resource that could keep the wheels of progress and development in the countryside moving faster. A better prepared and educated citizenry is the greatest asset of our society, on the wake of a highly-competitive market for jobseekers and the booming quality of world technology and scientific advancement that require high educational standards for Filipino manpower through quality education.
A well-disciplined citizenry breeds a strong foundation for a society of law-abiding, peace-loving and vigilant members who know their duties and obligations, people who are aware of their basic responsibilities to fellowmen and are always concerned of the needs of the less fortunate among them, who are considerate towards the welfare of others, over and above their own.
Most Filipinos, to include Bacoleños and Negrenses, to a large extent, maybe considered part of a disciplined breed in the world, but only to a certain extent, notably when they are abroad when they follow rules and regulations of the host country, almost to the letter. Why this is so is not yet quite clear, but the indications point to their desire to impress upon other peoples that they, too, are disciplined and law-abiding. Back home, they prove themselves exemplary members of the community especially when their own interests are at stake, and when leaders of their community provide the right motivation and example that inspire their countrymen and constituents to take up the cudgels and follow.
(It was a grand reunion for the families of Pert Toga, Cecille Garaygay, Luis Garrucho, Malou Toga Esmeres and Pastor Raymond Jamora during the holiday season in their parental residence at Halaran Street, Fiesta Homes in Brgy. Sum-ag, Bacolod City on Dec. 25 and 31, 2013. Photos show highlights of the two-day family reunion.)
RGT (R) with daughter Ana Marie Toga Garrucho and grandson Lou Jan and Darcy & Sam.*
Despite the holocaust of a super typhoon that devastated many parts of Eastern and Western Visayas which left billions of pesos in losses to crops, infrastructures and valuable especially notably the death toll of more than 6,000 people, the Philippines is expected to recover and get back on its feet sooner than expected.
The economic prospects are not all remote or dismal, according to economic forecasters, notably the Euro monitor who believes that investors should not rule out the country’s long-term potential as one of the next major emerging markets to watch, globally.
Furthermore, Euro monitor said, reconstruction efforts will provide a boost to economic growth in this country, especially in the impacted, regions within a short period of time.
On Nov 2013, one of the strongest typhoons made landfall and left the worst damage since records began to strike the Central Philippines.
It cannot be denied: "Climate change which means the world is being squeezed between expanding deserts from the interior continents and rising seas on the periphery," is indeed worsening.
No wonder, international scientists and world environmental watchers are now mere concerned about the question: "Is the cyclone referring to the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda another major proof of climate change the world is waiting – and will be experiencing, again and again?"
This holocaust aftermath is one major catastrophe that should perhaps become a focus of the Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) when it holds its 45th Environment Forum on Monday, December 16 at the provincial capitol. Apart from coming up with an Action Plan for 2014, the forum will also come up with sectoral committee updates in forest, coastal and main resources, as well as swim and water, which are deemed relevant to environmental issues and climate change as a whole.
Climate change, needless to state, means poor and rich countries alike will suffer major hazards: hunger and poverty, diseases like HIV/AIDS, millions of refugees and homeless, and armed conflicts for dwindling world resources.
It’s somewhat reassuring and a big relief for Filipinos that the Philippines no longer appears on the top list of Transparency International (TI) as among the most corrupt nations in the world today.
How did we manage to do it as a people? Not much at all, it seems. It just came almost as a natural consequence, when vigilant citizens reacted with nationalistic fervor against massive corruption that involved the brazen acts of wholesale corrupt practices by high government officials who allegedly connived with a dubious character by way of manipulating the releases of pork barrel funds allocated to lawmakers through fake non-government organizations or to non-existent foundations to the detriment of their constituencies and the loss of public funds intended for essential community services.
The entire nation went ballistic over the anomaly, denouncing and openly protesting the huge pile of corruption and anomalies that developed into a deluge of multi-billion peso scandals never before seen in this country’s struggling economy.
The scandalous manipulation of the P10-billion peso fund anomaly of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) a.k.a. pork barrel that is now sweeping the entire Philippine bureaucracy, plus the equally-questionable disposal of the multi-billion peso Malampaya funds and the hair-raising Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which are mostly questionable in so far as their constitutionality are concerned all contributed to the people’s dismay and utter frustration.
The culture of impunity and media killings in our midst are still very much apparent in this country today with hundreds of both print and broadcast media practitioners already victimized through the years, but the violence and disregard over the thankless job that media persons perform in defense of press freedom and the people’s right to know do not seem to abate or even strike fear into the hearts and minds of assassins who are apparently hired to liquidate the unarmed and peace-loving victims whose only commitment in their profession is to expose shenanigans and reform our society, even at the sacrifice and risk of their own personal safety and that of their most cherished advocacies in life.
Justice, however, seems to be quite elusive to them and their family even as the unfortunate victims in this country keep mounting with 32 media practitioners in that gory and bloody Maguindanao massacre without any assurance when the suspects could ever be identified or meted justice as soon as possible. For indeed, justice delayed is justice denied. That alone, has been three years ago but still hanging in the balance.
Unless boxing icon Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao finally squares off with undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. next year, his next big fight will no longer be in the boxing ring but undoubtedly in a different venue: the court of tax appeal where he will face a P2.2 billion ($50-M) tax evasion case.
The Pacman’s tax obligations with the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) came out into the open worldwide when no less than the Agence France Presse (AFP) in an international news dispatch titled: "Philippine Taxman Demands Pacquiao to Pay $50-M."
The AFP report quoted Philippine authorities as having demanded last Wednesday that the boxing hero’s assets have been seized and garnished, but the Pacman himself vowed to take the fight to the court of law.