"To laugh often and much... to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children . . . to leave the world a better place. . . & to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...

This is to have succeeded

my random thoughts...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's official. HOME ALONE 2...

It's the third day since I am officially home alone. And I've been busy. Fixing this and that. Meeting so and so. My back actually aches from all the work I did the past days. It is only now that I got the chance to stay online longer than ten minutes.

Anyways, my parents safely arrived in Boston Sept 20 here and still 19 there, amid the delay in Detroit. My dad celebrated his 67th birthday yesterday (Sept. 21) and I believe he got his wish of eating lobsters on that day. Hmmmn... I remember the first time I ate lobsters when I was there. It was fun and definitely delicious. I was told my "diche" (second "ate" in the family...) drove to Boston from canada to be with our parents and celebrate my dad's birthday as well.

Anyways, I suddenly felt hungry. Now I feel like I want to eat lobsters too but we don't have that here. If we do, it maybe so expensive as it is imported. Hehehe... or perhaps the crabs, I could get one tomorrow... Consequently, they don't have that there - our alimango, with all its aligue.

Tomorrow, I will find one in the market and satisfy this craving...

Oh well, I am tired. Just wanted to blog this mundane thoughts. Lot of things in my mind though but I am too tired to write now. They are better left "unshared" anyway... Know what I mean?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Post 101

I was supposed to give this post a different title but as I signed in, I saw in the dashboard that I already have 100 posts so this makes it 101. =)

Anyway, in just 2hours or so, I will be leaving... but I will come back. hehehe. Will just leave to bring my parents to the airport as they take their flight going to Boston. It is my Father's birthday on Sept 21 and he wanted to celebrate it eating lobsters in Boston. That is where his sister ( my Tita Lita) lives. On the 22nd, they travel to New York to visit another aunt, my father's cousin (Auntie Perla) and then head to my brother's place in Maryland. All these states are in the East Coast so it only takes hours by land travel. After being there, they fly to Canada to visit my sister.

So, I guess in 2-3 hours after taking them to the airport, I am officially "Home Alone 2". As this was the second time as I said in a previous post...

I don't know exactly how I feel. Thrilled for my parents as they will be seeing relatives and my siblings, which is their main purpose of travelling. Sad as I will surely miss being pampered by them. But I'll be fine here. Yeah, I think I will be. More responsibilities but I'm up for it.

I am particularly psyched with the "freedom" that goes with all these...

The coming days will be full. =)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An Inspiring Story from Paglaum Girls of Bacolod

I got this email from my dad and felt like it should be blogged, so here it is...

read on.

An Inspiring Story from Paglaum girls of Bacolod
Written by: Rina Jimenez David (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

NOW for a bit of good, positive news for a change.

Paying a courtesy call Thursday on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at Malacanang were the members of the victorious Bacolod team that emerged as champions in the recent World Series Junior Girls Softball championship in Kirkland, Washington, United States.

After the girls showed her their victory banner and presented her with an honorary team jacket, the President handed the girls from Paglaum (a village on the outskirts of Bacolod) a check for one million pesos, an incentive for their winning performance.

A newspaper report says the team's 2-0 victory over Puerto Rico in the title match "gave the Philippines its first World Series crown since 1992 when a team from Zamboanga was stripped of the crown it won in Pennsyl vania" on allegations of fielding over-aged and unqualified players. The girls' victory, then, was not just a great honor for the country, but also a vindication of Filipino honor and pride.

Beyond that, though, the team's victory is a real "Cinderella" story, a fascinating tale of how girls from a small town overcame the odds and showed the world what they're made of.

THE GIRLS, from 12 to 14 years of age, come from Paglaum, a small village on the outskirts of Bacolod, and belong to farming families, their parents working in the sugar cane fields or else engaged in fishing and rice and coconut farming. Rufino Ignacio, one of the Filipino-Americans in Washington who played host to the team, says the girls brought pictures of their nipa huts and the dilapidated premises of the Paglaum Village National High School.

As Ignacio tells it, the team almost didn't make the trip for lack of money for their plane fare. Funds raised by their sponsors, including Little League Philippines and politicians and business people in Negros, were not enough for their needs. So as a last ditch effort, the team's coach and the school principal took out a loan for 100,000 pesos, though perhaps the President's check should now ease their anxieties somewhat.

Upon arrival in the US, the girls and their coach stayed with a host family, the Shannons, all of them crowded into the Shannons' modest home, although once the tournament began, the USA Little League housed them in a hotel. But they faced more than logistical challenges. Ignacio describes the Paglaum girls as the "smallest" among all the players in the tournament, who were "heftier and taller and from their looks, stronger."

Despite their physical disadvantages, however, the young Pinays became the "darling of the crowd," racking up a "very impressive record" and winning everyone's admiration for their "discipline and decorum."

THE STORY of the Paglaum girls, though, is also the story of how the entire Filipino-American community in the area came together to lend their moral, physical and financial support for the plucky team.

Fil-Ams from as far as Oregon and British Columbia came in droves to cheer on the Paglaum girls. The Ilonggos Northwest Association, the Filipino Community of Seattle, and a regional Fil-Am association, the FACSPS, combined resources to make the girls feel welcome. The FACSPS, headed by Ignacio, gathered used clothing, shoes, toiletries, canned goods and other items and packed them in balikbayan boxes for the girls to take home to their families.

"As the team is not used to eating bread in the hotel, the Ilonggos and FACSPS prepared food for them, potluck style, and the team heartily ate with other Filipinos after each game," recounts Ignacio. "The girls said they had the best meals in th eir young lives during the tournament."

Ignacio notes that the Paglaum girls left the Philippines with "no money, hardly noticed, and thinking perhaps they had no chance of winning." But now, they have returned as heroes, or rather, as young heroines.

Everyone loves an underdog, but victorious underdogs are loved even more. This is one "Cinderella story" that deserves to be told and retold.

It's only when you share your life to others that life begins to have a
meaning and purpose ... the time you touch the life of others is the time
you really live.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Women's issues in the BAR EXAMS

When I read about these stuff (Rina Jimenez-David's column on the matter...), I couldn't help but smile. The legal profession has always been regarded as a man's world. In fact, I remember vividly how my professor in Persons and Family Relations told the class on the very first day of school, on my first year, that the easiest way for a woman to become a lawyer is to simply marry one, instead of going through the hardships of law school - a challenge, he quipped, better left to men, in general. That was part of his "pep talk" to first year law students. His way of telling us we might be wasting our time attending law school. Those are words he seem to particularly direct to the women in class blessed with good looks. Later in life, as I look back, I realized how sexist and offensive that comment was and how much overhauling the legal profession requires in terms of gender-related issues. Women's rights, in a profession that teaches the law, are disregarded and trampled upon day in and day out.

Injecting these kinds of questions in the BAR EXAMS is a very good way of mainstreaming gender issues and concerns in the consciousness of those who seek to practice the profession.

Read on...

Women's issues in the BAR EXAMS

First posted 05:20:38 (Mla time) September 11, 2007
Rina Jimenez-David / Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- “The city mayor issues an executive order declaring that the city promotes responsible parenthood and upholds family planning. He prohibits all hospitals operated by the city from prescribing the use of artificial methods of contraception, including condoms, pills, intrauterine devices and surgical sterilization. As a result, poor women in this city lost their access to affordable family planning programs. Private clinics, however, continue to render family planning (counseling) and devices to paying clients.

“(a) Is the executive order in any way constitutionally infirm? Explain.

“(b) Is the Philippines in breach of any obligation under international law? Explain.

“(c) May the Commission on Human Rights order the mayor to stop the implementation of the executive order? Explain.”

This was Question No. 2 in the Political and International Law exam given last Sept. 2 as part of this year’s bar exams. This and other questions are currently making the rounds of the e-mail circuit, especially among women’s advocates, because, not only is it unusual to see gender-related issues covered in the exams for future lawyers, the questions also tread on issues and concerns not normally thought of as matters of legality or even constitutionality.

Credit for this attempt to broaden the understanding and appreciation of law must go to 2007 Bar Exam Committee chair Justice Adolfo Azcuna. As Sarah Lou Arriola, director for special projects of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, who told me about the questions, asserts: “These questions have changed the landscape of the bar exams. It is a great effort on the part of Justice Azcuna to mainstream gender issues in the law profession.”

* * *

Here are the other gender-related questions in the Sept. 2 exams:

Question No. 4: In 1993, historians confirmed that during World War II, “comfort women” were forced into serving the Japanese military. These women were either abducted or lured by false promises of jobs as cooks or waitresses, and eventually forced against their will to have sex with Japanese soldiers on a daily basis during the course of the war, and often suffered from severe beatings and venereal diseases. The Japanese government contends that the “comfort stations” were run as “onsite military brothels” (or prostitution houses) by private operators, and not by the Japanese military. There were many Filipina “comfort women.”

(a) Name at least one basic principle or norm of international humanitarian law that was violated by the Japanese military in the treatment of the “comfort women.”

(b) The surviving Filipina “comfort women” demand that the Japanese government apologize and pay them compensation. However, under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Agreement -- the legal instrument that ended the state of war between Japan and Allied Forces -- all the injured states, including the Philippines, received war reparations and, in return, waived all claims against Japan arising from the war. Is that a valid defense?

(c) The surviving Filipina “comfort women” sue the Japanese government for damages before Philippine courts. Will that case prosper?

* * *

Question No. 5: The Destilleria Felipe Segundo is famous for its 15-year-old rum, which it has produced and marketed successfully for the past 70 years. Its latest commercial advertisement uses the line: “Nakatikim ka na ba ng kinse anyos? (Have you tasted a 15-year old?)” Very soon, activist groups promoting women’s and children’s rights were up in arms against the advertisement.

(a) All advertising companies in the Philippines have formed an association, the Philippine Advertising Council, and have agreed to abide by all the ethical guidelines and decisions by the council. In response to the protests, the council orders the pull-out of the “kinse anyos” advertising campaign. Can Destilleria Felipe Segundo claim that its constitutional rights are thus infringed?

(b) One of the militant groups, the Amazing Amazonas, call on all GOCCs to boycott any newspaper, radio or TV station that carries “kinse anyos” advertisements. They call on all government nominees in sequestered corporations to block any advertising funds allocated for any newspaper, radio or TV station. Can the GOCCs and sequestered corporations validly comply?

* * *

As any lawyer or judge will tell you, there aren’t any “right” or “wrong” answers to these questions. The “rightness” or “wrongness” of any position or opinion, after all, depends on the arguments presented, the legal precedents, documents and sources quoted, and the witnesses presented. But legal points or viewpoints can be made only if the lawyer is aware of the legal scholarship underlying these positions.

I am especially grateful for the question regarding the possible “breach of any obligation under international law” by the Philippines, as indicated in Question No. 2. I believe the “international law” alluded to here is the CEDAW, or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” which the Philippines has signed and ratified. CEDAW is an international human rights treaty that, among other things, “affirms and upholds women’s right to health services including access to all family planning methods.” Let’s see how many future lawyers cited the right provision, mentioned CEDAW and the Philippine government’s obligations as a signatory state, or even knew about CEDAW. Maybe those bar takers who never gave a thought to gender and the law will now see women in a new light.

And while this is just a first step, women should be properly grateful to Azcuna for showing the way in mainstreaming gender issues in the study and application of the law.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ERAP: Guilty or NOT Guilty

The country is busy... Tomorrow will mark another "historical event" in Philippine politics as the SANDIGANBAYAN promulgates the judgement on the charges against the former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada, ERAP as he is popularly called.

Personally, I want ERAP to be acquitted. Setting aside legal points and considerations, I feel like he has suffered so much and at his age, he deserves to rest from all this hullaballoo. And to be brutally honest, I just don't like the present administration so much that I want ERAP to be freed.

I was never a fan of ERAP, and I was one of those who despise him when he won the Presidency. But as I "aged", with all the wisdom acquired (somehow) through life, I realized that removing ERAP from the presidency at that time was one of the worst things this country did. Oh yeah, he may not possess the profile of a typical "leader", he may not have the stereotype family you want the first family to be, with all his "affairs" and love child, he may be a gambler and all that, but he was clearly elected by an overwhelming majority. That is what elections are about. And in a democracy such as ours, that should have been accorded respect, even by those self-proclaimed "elite" in Imperial Manila. Those people who seem to think only their voice and opinions matter.

Consequently, if he did commit impeachable offenses during his tenure as president, due process should have been observed. That's how you keep the system of democracy working. It's not perfect but it's a form of government that "tries" to be reasonable and fair, where justice can prevail and find its place.

Tomorrow, the verdict whatever it might be, will have great impact in the government, the business sector, and the civil society, in general. As always, we count on our media men and women to be in the forefront in bringing essential information regarding what's happening.

Emotions will run high as lives change tomorrow. And yes, that include ours...


My parents will be leaving in a week's time- September 19, Wednesday so the countdown to being "home alone" actually begins now...

Words escape me as I try to express how I feel. Well, the "craziness" have been intense around here with all the preps before they leave but the thought of being left alone... at this point in time... makes me feel really "weird" ( for lack of a better word... )

I'll just park that thought for awhile until d' day inevitably comes. For now, I just truly hope their travel will be stress-free and enjoyable for them. Hey, we are talking about two (2) senior citizens here whose temper, tolerance and patience are way too short already. Couldn't help but worry somehow.

Anyways, one thing I know --- the coming days will surely be interesting.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

crazy days

The past days have been erratic and crazy. For one, my parents will be leaving the country this month, which will make me officially "home alone" . As such, there are tons of things to arrange and set up before they leave. This isn't the first time that I will be alone here in Manila, since back in August of 2004, they also left to visit my sister in Canada and my brother's family in Maryland. However, I followed (December) to celebrate the holidays with them and returned altogether after my birthday (Feb 2005). This time though, I am not quite sure If I want to follow suit as I have other plans and things to do here...

There were so much I wanted to blog about but failed to do so. Hopefully, will catch up later...

Gotta go.