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!

Enough is Enough, Let’s Move On

The people have spoken through their votes.  Rodrigo Duterte is the next president of the Philippines and Leni Robredo is leading the count to be the elected vice-president.

Let’s move on and let the elective process continue, take its course, and end.  Mar, Grace and Jojo have conceded to Rody.  All the other VP candidates, except Bongbong, have all but accepted that Leni won.

Read moreEnough is Enough, Let’s Move On

Martial Law, Edjop, Ditto and Jun (and Bongbong)

There are forgotten heroes who died during the tyrannical Martial Law regime of Ferdinand Marcos.  Among them are Edgar Jopson (Edjop), Abraham Sarmiento, Jr. (Ditto), and Artemio Celestial, Jr. (Jun).  I had the honor of being in school with them – Ditto was my classmate in high school, Edjop was ahead by one year in high school and college, and I was ahead of Jun by a year.

For those of us who came into adulthood during Martial Law, it was a tumultuous, traumatic, and uncertain time.  We lost a lot during martial law.  We lost our political innocence.  We lost our sense of security and certainty about the future.  We lost our naivety. We lost 25 years of economic growth. We lost friends.

Read moreMartial Law, Edjop, Ditto and Jun (and Bongbong)

Why I Will Vote for Mar Roxas as the Next President of the Philippines

What can I tell the future generation of Filipinos?

That we were almost there?

That we lost it?

That we were on the cusp of greatness and prosperity and that we blew it?

That we did not elect the right president in 2016?


Where are we now?

During the past five years of the PNoy Aquino administration, the Philippine economy has grown steadily at an average rate of 6.2 percent a year, which has been the highest in the past 40 years.  After having lagged behind other Asian economies and dubbed the “Sick Man of Asia”, the Philippines is now one of the more dynamic economies in the world and the country is seen as having the potential of sustained economic growth in the coming years.

Read moreWhy I Will Vote for Mar Roxas as the Next President of the Philippines

There’s a “New” Guy in Town — Duterte


 Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte

 Party:  PDP-Laban

 Born      Rodrigo Roa Duterte

March 28, 1945 (age 70)
Maasin City, Southern Leyte

 Civil Status: Married to Elizabeth Zimmerman (annulled); Domestic Partner: Honeylet Avancena

Children:  Paolo, Sara, Sebastian, Veronica

Parents:  Vicente G. Duterte of Cebu (who served as Governor of Davao) and Soledad Roa of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte

Read moreThere’s a “New” Guy in Town — Duterte

The First (1916) and Present Philippine Senators

I came upon a graphic (actually my nephew posted it on his Facebook page) which showed the composition of the First Senate of the Philippines (1916), showing the occupations of this illustrious group of lawmakers:

First Senators

Please click on graphic for a larger and clearer image.

The first senators were:

Jose Altavas Mario Guarina Manuel L. Quezon
Hadji Butu Pedro Guevara Celestino Rodriguez
Aquilino Calvo * Vicente Ilustre Esteban Singson
Nicolas Capistrano Leoncio Imperial Pedro Ma. Sison
Jose A. Clarin Francisco Tongio Liongson Filemon Sotto
Vicente Singson Encarnacion Manuel Lopez Jose Ma. Veloso
Isauro Gabaldon Joaquin D. Luna Juan Villamor
Espiridion Guanco Rafael Palma Francisco Villanueva

* Resigned on February 1, 1917. Replaced by Matias Gonzales who was elected in a special election held on May 5, 1917

Quite an impressive group for the foundation of our republic.

Read moreThe First (1916) and Present Philippine Senators

Planting Bullets Is Never Fun

The “laglag bala” or “tanim bala” scam (dropping bullets in luggage of unsuspecting international travelers and extorting money from these travelers) has become a global embarrassment and a huge black-eye for the Philippines.

Imagine what it has done to our image.  This is a setback to tourism (count the pesos and dollars lost), further reinforces the perception of lawlessness in the country (think third world and how we’re trying to get out of that), and sends shivers up the spine of potential investors (still the “sick man” in Asia; if you can’t safely travel to the Philippines to do business, then forget it).

Read morePlanting Bullets Is Never Fun

Jose Cortes Altavas

Jose Cortes Altavas, great politician, statesman, a man of letters and an illustrious son of the province of Capiz, was born on September 11, 1877 at Balete, Capiz (now Balete, Aklan). His parents were Jose Aguilar Altavas from Aragon, Spain, who settled in Aklan, and Andrea Rafols Cortes of Aklan.

Jose studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors. He was known as “Emperador” in Ateneo because of his excellence in examinations and in literary contests. He then transferred to the University of Santo Tomas to take up law only to be interrupted by the Philippine Revolution against Spain. Jose came home to be part of the revolution under the leadership of Santiago Bellosillo.

Read moreJose Cortes Altavas