2020 U.S. Presidential Election: A Sigh of Relief and Hope

Election Day and a Few Days After  (Nov 2 – 8, 2020)

Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020

It’s November 3rd, 2020 – Presidential Election Day in the US – the most consequential election in my lifetime here in the US and the most consequential election for most Americans.

All of the ballots were cast today, large percentage through mail-in ballot and on-site election day voting.  The polls had been holding steady with Biden in the lead with ten percentage points (10%). We were very confident of a Biden win, the same way we were confident of a Hillary win in 2016.  But this time we felt it was different.  With such a lead in the polls, Biden would surely breeze through this election.

Read more2020 U.S. Presidential Election: A Sigh of Relief and Hope

A Long Four Years to the 2020 Presidential Election

It is November 3, 2020 – a day of reckoning.

I, and perhaps a majority of Americans, have been waiting for the past four years for this day to come.  It has been an excruciating four years ever since Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in 2016 with the slimmest of margins.

I remember those days in 2016 when I wrote this in my blog:

2016 U.S. Presidential Election: We Just Want It Over

Read moreA Long Four Years to the 2020 Presidential Election

Iloilo — May 5 to May 8, 2019


The last time Cess and I were in Iloilo City was in 2016, when Cess’ St. Paul College Manila, BSN 1977  class had its reunion.  We did not spend time by ourselves then since we joined most of the planned group activities and get-togethers.

This time, as part of our “chill” vacation, we decided make the most of our time and enjoy the food, rekindle memories, experience the “new” Iloilo, and, of course, make kwento with our beloved sister-in-law, Yoli.

Read moreIloilo — May 5 to May 8, 2019

Philippines – April 25 – May 16, 2019

Cess and I go home to the Philippines every so often to see family and friends and enjoy the different places we visit and savor the food we eat.

Our previous trips were “occasion” visits – reunions, family illness, break from work, break from school. This time, with us retired and the kids on their own, it was time to visit for the sake of visiting, to “chill”, to take and savor the days as they come; no maps, no schedules, no prior commitments. This time – enjoy the sites, enjoy the food.

Read morePhilippines – April 25 – May 16, 2019

Unveiling of the Statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas — Sept 11, 2017

Under clear skies and good weather, the statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas was unveiled, blessed and dedicated on September 11, 2017 in the town plaza of Altavas, Aklan.  The unveiling ceremony was preceded by a parade with a platoon of army and police, school children and teachers, employees and barangay folk.  The ceremony was attended by officials of the Municipality of Altavas, members of the Altavas Historical Society (which spearheaded the event), the Altavas family, and the gracious people of Altavas (Altavasnons).

Read moreUnveiling of the Statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas — Sept 11, 2017

Building of the Statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas


The 140th birth anniversary of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas will be celebrated on September 11, 2017.  Furthermore the 100th year founding anniversary of the town of Altavas in the province of Aklan is on January 2018.

In early May of this year 2017, planning was started to commemorate both anniversaries honoring Jose Cortes Altavas.  In a series of meetings in Baybay, Roxas City – Ike Altavas, Hutch Altavas, Dickie Altavas, Pat Cleope (of Altavas, Aklan), John Alaban, and Galen Altavas, and in consultation with the Altavas family and friends, the Altavas Historical Society, and the Altavas town government officials met to plan activities for these anniversaries.  One of the major initiatives was the creation of a statue of Jose Altavas to replace the bust of Jose Altavas in the town plaza of Altavas, Aklan.

Read moreBuilding of the Statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas

2016 In Retrospect

2016 started with hope and promise.

Time, perhaps, to help change history both in the Philippines and the United States with our votes.  Depending on who you voted for, there was elation or disappointment.  But the verdict is not yet out.  The coming year, or years, will tell and history will judge.

In this “master” blog, I’ve included three blogs  which are retrospective views (although political in nature) of 2016.

Read more2016 In Retrospect

Christmas in Roxas City

I was in Roxas City with my wife and two kids (actually, adults) in 2011 during the Christmas holidays.

Cool night air, wonderful and delicious food (remember, Roxas City is the seafood capital of the Philippines), especially the hot peanuts by the cathedral, family, Christmas carols, and Baybay Beach.

This was the last year I spent Christmas with my mom.  We, including my sister’s family, went to Mt. Carmel Parish for midnight mass.  On the way home from church to Baybay, we passed by the plaza, the provincial capitol, and the cathedral and were greeted by a wondrous sight of Christmas lights.

Read moreChristmas in Roxas City

A Thief Even After Death

Ferdinand Marcos was secretly buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani on November 18, 2016.  A thief in life, a thief in death, a thief after death.

Whether he was buried in Ilocos Norte, at La Loma cemetery, or in my backyard, Ferdinand Marcos will never be a hero.   His interment at the Libingan will not erase all the lies, deceit, malevolence in his lifetime.  His epithet will always be “Dictator, Murderer, Liar, Thief”.  His interment at the Libingan will not change his dark legacy but it will sully the honor, valor, and sacrifice of all our heroes in the Libingan.  A rotten apple in a blooming orchard of wondrous fruit.

Metro Manila Traffic — It’s a Mess!

Quezon City to Makati — 1:00 pm

On Feb 26, 2016, about 11am, we decided to drive from Quezon City to Makati to meet some friends.

The trip from Congressional Subd. in Quezon City to the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati is 17.6 kilometers.

QC to Makati - Large Map

The trip should have taken only between 28 – 40 minutes.

It took us about one hour and sixteen minutes (1:16) to make the trip from Quezon City to Makati.  We drove from Congressional Ave. (between Mindanao Ave. and Visayas Ave.), through Visayas Ave., Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon Ave., EDSA, and Ayala Ave., to the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.  The 17.6 kilometer (10.9 miles) trip took slightly more than an hour — not bad, you say — but our average speed was about 14 kph or 8.6 mph.

Read moreMetro Manila Traffic — It’s a Mess!