2013: An Unlucky Year

December 31, 2013

2013 has been an unlucky year for most people, including us Pinoys. The year ended with 13, hence unlucky. We had faced a lot of hardships, which made problems worse. To end this year, here’s a Year in Review I made for 2013:

1. Typhoon Yolanda

Disaster in Leyte (courtesy of Inquirer).

The most powerful storm had hit the islands this year last Nov. 8. With a speed of to 315 kph, this had destroyed a lot of cities & towns (notably the ones near the sea and some landmarks) in Visayas, from Leyte to Cebu. Tacloban, Leyte had suffered the most fatalities. Over 6,100 people were dead, 2,000 were missing. All the damage done by this faggot storm costs around $2 Billion.

The government made a slow and disorganized response, which had faced a lot of criticism, but did their best to help us. One of the reasons were that a lot of roads that lead to isolated towns were covered with debris. However, countries like the US, Japan, and UK volunteered to help us by sending in a lot of personnel to help the Aquino administration and donate money and relief goods to those Yolanda victims.

This was the strongest storm to hit the islands after Ondoy. Luckily, the aftermath has shown that they had slowly rose again from the storm, despite the hardships.

“The Filipino people…they’re strong not just to survive the storm; but they are strong to have survived the aftermath of the storm.”
-Anderson Cooper (CNN)

2. Visayas Earthquake

A collapsed Loboc Church in Loboc, Bohol (courtesy of Robert Michael Poole).

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2, one of the strongest to hit the islands in more than 2 decades, happened in Sagbayan, Bohol during the morning of Oct. 15. As a result, this scumbag earthquake destroyed a lot of places in Bohol & Cebu.

Over 220 were dead, eight were missing, and about a thousand injured in the temblor. 73,000 structures were damaged, 15,000 were totally destroyed, notably the centuries-old Catholic Churches lying in ruins. It took some time for the victims to rise again and rebuild a lot of damaged landmarks.

If the Boholanos & Cebuanos thought the wrath was over, it wasn’t when Yolanda came 3 months later.

3. Zambaonga Wrath

MNLF vs. Govt. Soldiers ni Zamboanga City (courtesy of Joseph Feeding Mission).

A rogue faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) & their leader Nur Misuarilaid made a siege on Zamboanga City last Sept. 9 to proclaim a Bangsamoro Republik. As a result, over a hundred thousand residents rushed out of their houses to look for shelter.

For the next 3 weeks, government forces fought against rebels led by Ustadz Habier Malik, destroying more than 10,000 homes in the city and nearby Basilan. Because of this, Zamboanga was considered a Ghost Town for a short time. Upon the end of this wrath in late September, 300 MNLF fighters were captured, and over 200 people killed, some victims and mostly rebels. All the damage done costs around P200 million.

Misuari is still on the Wanted list for rebellion and violation of international humanitarian law. Let’s just hope that the government & MNLF has declared peace.

4. Pork Barrel Scam

Janet Napoels mugshot (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Last July, everyone realized that around P10 billion in government money was believed stolen through fake NGOs of businesswoman Janet Napoles. Napoles and over 30 government officials including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla were charged with plunder in September for this.

Whistleblower Benhur Luy, Napoles’ personal assistant, brought in the details of the scam to the police after they rescued him from Napoles’ condo where he had been “illegally detained.” Meawhile, Napoles refused to answer the questions during her trial by saying, “I invoke my right against self-incrimination”. She’s already caught, yet she’s trying to escape the issue. She should’ve answered the questions instead to get things over with. That scumbag Napoles.

The money was taken from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), more known as the pork barrel, that congressmen and senators receive from the government for side projects. Other sources allegedly include the fertilizer fund of the Department of Agriculture and royalties from the Malampaya gas field project in Palawan.

Despite this, Napoles’s daughter, Jeane, was living the good life in the US. Some people realized that the money went to the things she bought. Good thing, in November, the Supreme Court abolished the PDAF, earning the support of Filipinos in the country and abroad. Don’t blame Pres. Noynoy Aquino for this. It’s Napoles who’s at fault.

5. Photo Thief

Mark Solis (courtesy of Yahoo).

Mark Joseph Solis, a graduate student of UP Diliman, submitted another photo, originally taken by Gregory John Smith, as his own to win an contest, “Smiles for the World: 2nd Calidad Humana Photo Essay Competition”, sponsored by the Chilean Embassy. As a result, he lost the award & prize, which he wanted to keep for his family needs. He sent an apology to Smith, good thing he was forgiven.

It was also later revealed that it was not the first time Solis plagiarized a photo. He had plagiarized a lot of photos for the last 3 years, notably his entry to the “Say Peace Photo Contest” sponsored by the OPAPP (2011), “Papworth Trust 2nd Photography Competition” (2011), “Say Peace! Online Photo Contest” (2011), “VinylPlus Sustainable Thinking Platform Photo Contest” (2011), EROPA-sponsored photo contest (2012), “Mulat Manipat Photojournalism contest” by the UJP-UP (2012), and “Water and Life digital photo contest” sponsored by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (2013).

To make matters worse, he may receive either a one-year suspension, dishonorable dismissal from the University, or withdrawal of degree by the University. I hope he doesn’t receive one of those, because he’s about to graduate. We can’t leave him floating in the air. He needs to finish his studies and graduate. If he receives either one of those damn penalties, then Motherf███ the UP Administration.

I hope Solis has learned a lesson for once and for all. He keeps on repeating the same mistakes, the situation gets worse. It looks like there’s another Tito Sotto in the making. This is an example of how Faith In Humanity is destroyed. Because of this, his life is already destroyed. Anyways, I hope he graduates around next year.

6. Election 2013

Team PNoy & UNA (courtesy of All Voices)

The 2013 midterm elections last May went OK, despite the violence and PCOS machine errors. Around 76% of the registered voters submitted their votes.

The administration coalition Team PNoy won 9 of 12 Senate seats, with newcomer Grace Poe having the most votes. Unfortunately, some of the best politicians, notably former Sen. Dick Gordon (13), Rep. Risa Hontiveros (17) & Gov. Edward Hagedorn (18), weren’t able to get the seats. Instead, they were taken by scumbags Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar & JV Ejercito. Speaking of VP’s daughter Nancy Binay, she has learned nothing in politics. After all, she was just a PA, who was just jealous because her siblings have their own position. She had made a wrong move.

That’s the problem of Pinoys when it comes to elections. Some of them vote for the wrong candidates. In other words, they vote for candidates with popular names instead of ones who have done a very good job for this country. Furthermore, they aren’t thinking good enough for this country. As a result, this country is getting more corrupt. Faith in Humanity destroyed.

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Aside from the Unlucky 6, we can’t always focus on the dark side. Besides, there are some good news this year.

1. Pacquiao’s Comeback

After falling to Juan Manuel Marquez & Timothy Bradley a year ago, “Pambansang Kamao” Manny Pacquiao made a comeback on the ring once again. This time, he faced Brandon Rios last Nov. 23.

Pacquiao stated that his fight is for the Yolanda victims. Luckily, he knocked Rios down and won the WBO international welterweight title via unanimous decision.

Thank god Pacquiao has regained his power once again. I hope he retains it for the future fights.

2. Integrated Terminal Implementation

Bus Terminal in Coastal Mall area (courtesy of Rappler).

Last July, MMDA opened the Bus Dispatch Terminal in Coastal Mall area in Parañaque City to ease the traffic in Taft, EDSA & Coastal Ave. This serves as the terminal for buses which come from Cavite & Batangas, instead of going to the Park n’ Ride terminal in Manila. Nonetheless, during its first few days, MMDA received a lot of complaints from a lot of people, bus drivers & operators. The LTFRB stated that MMDA had let the buses violate their contract of their franchise. This led the management to make improvements to the terminal, including building a shed for the waiting line for passengers not to sweat and creating its own band for passengers to be entertained.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino had done a good job in this. At least, traffic in EDSA isn’t that worse than before.

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For me, this was a year that began with good luck, and ended with a lot of bad luck. Throughout this damn year, some people’s luck gets worse. Motherf███ 2013. Let us hope that 2014 will be a better year than this year, with more good luck & less disasters. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Jeepney Diaries: Colorums in Escolta

December 24, 2013

Colorum” jeepneys are now a trend in some parts of Manila, and some other cities as well. You can see them along familiar places in that city, notably Escolta in Sta. Cruz & beside the underpass near the City Hall. In this blog, I’ll talk about my encounter on colorum jeeps that ply the route Sta. Cruz-Pier.

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My journey began at the cathedral, wherein I took some pictures of colorum jeepneys and interacted with some people about them. They told me that “Colorum” jeepneys are trending in Escolta and all that.

In going to Sta. Cruz, I talked to a driver, who rode the jeep holding the route “Retiro-Pier”. He told me that he travels with that said route during mornings, but he travels from Sta. Cruz to Pier during afternoons. The reasons behind the latter are that sometimes his body aches especially while driving, and traffic in Avenida is heavy during afternoons, he doesn’t wanna waste time getting stuck in traffic. He even gave me some background about “Colorum” jeepneys. Those are the kinds of jeepneys never renew their license plates and/or franchise because of lack of money and have white license plates. Although they travel from Sta. Cruz to Pier, they have no mentioned routes on their sides & have no franchise at all. Some of them are private-type ones. Thus, they can travel to anywhere they like without getting arrested by the Police. Despite traveling from Sta. Cruz to Pier, his jeep still holds the registered route (in which he occasionally travels) & is still registered.

While in Sta. Cruz, I stayed at the middle isle of Plaza Sta. Cruz near Escolta and took some pictures of colorum jeepneys like these:

A long-time colorum jeepney.

A long-time colorum jeepney.

A new comer colorum jeepney. This used to run from Libertad - Pier 15.

A new comer colorum jeepney. This used to ply the route from Libertad – Pier 15 until early this year.

In going back to Intramuros, I talked to another driver, who rode the jeep holding the route “Blumentritt-Pier”. He told me that he travels with that said route during early mornings, but he travels from Sta. Cruz to Pier during late mornings & afternoons. The reasons behind the latter are that traffic in Avenida is heavy during afternoons. He even gave me more background about “Colorum” jeepneys, by pointing out the jeeps without license plates, which are confiscated by the LTO. The drivers of the said jeepneys are against the LTO and are part of an illegal organization, where he’s also part of. He told me that he lives near the gas station near Blumentritt, hence the route. However, his last registration renewal was 3 years ago, since his jeep used to hold the route “Divosoria-Baclaran”, until it changed to its current route (in which he occasionally travels).

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To wrap things up, here’s what I learned from the drivers. Some owners of jeepneys tend to never renew their license plates and/or franchise, once expired, because they lack money. This causes their jeepneys to have white license plates, hence considering them colorum. In some cases, LTO aouthorities confiscate the license plates of some jeepneys for multiple violations (just my guess). However, they still travel without license plates, but now, as a colorum.

Recently, I observed that the colorum jeepneys unfortunately have multiplied, especially in Escolta. I don’t know what to do with them, but I hope VM Isko will solve the problem about them, even the ones near City Hall.

I hope you like my 1st post for Jeepney Diaries. More of these to come soon…


Exit Brian Griffin, Enter Vinny

December 8, 2013

In Family Guy’s latest episode, “Life Of Brian”, Brian Griffin died in a car accident. This turned out to be a very tragic climax of this episode. Stewie, Brian’s best friend, can’t accept the fact that he’s dead. I understand that he’s too young to lose a best friend. On the brighter side, after a month, the Griffins had brought a new dog, Vinny. It took time for Stewie to accept Vinny as a part of his family, when Vinny had the same situation as Griffins. His owner named Leo, died in a freak yoga accident.

Family Guy is known for its comedic scenes, wherein babies & animals also get to talk. But in this episode, things had been taken so seriously. It’s like losing your favorite pet, who got ran over & killed by a vehicle. Those feels. Executive producer Steve Callaghan & creator Seth McFarlane thought that Brian’s death was a “fun way to shake things up”. In other words, this season’s episodes’ ratings went down. So they thought that this tragic scene might help the series get back in track. At least, it’s safer than a human like Stewie getting killed. However, this episode returned with a lot of negative reactions & a petition to bring Brian back (I didn’t sign it because bringing him back may destroy McFarlane’s future plans). If you want to understand more about this, here’s Callaghan’s explanation to E! News about it.

Speaking of Vinny, this Italian pussyhound isn’t so bad at all. He’s somewhat like Brian. He seemed to go with Peter’s flow a first, as in drinking beer with him. This is what Peter was looking for, a dog “sounds like he went to college”. In other words, a dog who is witty & can talk, similar to Brian. According to Callaghan, say this pussyhound is a really good match for Stewie since both had experienced the same situation. And this new character is voiced by Tony Sirico of HBO’s The Sopranos. McFarlane was a big fan of that show, so he thought he could recruit Sirico to voice Vinny. And to reduce McFarlane’s time doing voice overs (aside from Brian, he also voices Peter & Stewie).

Vinny to Brian.

Vinny’s message to Brian.

To all the people who wanted Brian back: I know Brian is a funny dog & has been with the show for the past 12 seasons. We cannot please McFarlane and his crew to bring Brian back. Even if you beg them for a million times or make a petition to bring him back, they still won’t. It’s their decision, and you have to respect it, whether you like it or not. I know it’s hard to accept the truth that Brian is dead (I also didn’t like what happened), but this is the only choice. It’s time to forget the past & move on with its new episodes. Brian would be back, probably in a flashback episode. Just give Vinny a chance and everything will be fine. Who knows, you’ll soon like him as much as you like Brian. It’s either you go with the show’s flow or go fuck yourselves & watch The Simpsons instead. Your choice. A true fan of a TV show goes with the show’s flow (whether exciting or tragic) & gets used to new characters.


It’s Been So Long

December 2, 2013

Good day, people. It’s been long since I posted a blog here. For the last 2 Quarters, I’ve been busy with a lot of college stuff. Because of this, I found little time to linger on this site, draw comics & upload videos on YouTube. As a student, I find it hard to focus on a lot of things at the same time. I’m still fvked up with time management, though I’d often prioritize my studies first.

Lately, some ideas popped out of my mind for this blog. In a few days, I’ll be posting about Brian Griffin’s tragic death. And recently, I’ve encountered a lot of jeepneys; colorum ones & the ones that usually cut trips. So, I decided to write my experiences about those. It’s in my draft, but I’ll be posting some of them soon. (It takes time for any idea to come out of my mind, so I can post them here.) And more to come, if any…