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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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Word of Thanks



A picture of a beaming young Filipina with Jack Ma and President Obama in a conference graced the dailies exactly about a year ago here in the Philippines. That lady was Aisah Mijeno, a young Filipina scientist who invented an ingenious lamp that works simply by adding two tablespoons of salt on a glass of water. This portable lamp called SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting), made light accessible to thousands of families in the far-flung areas of the country.
L-R: Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, US President Barack Obama, and Filipina scientist Aisa Mijeno.
What that image showed was not just a "Filipino Pride" moment, but a moment of significant importance for the growing trend in the Philippines: social enterprises.

In a nutshell, it is a revenue-generating business which aims to reinvest its profits in cultural, humanitarian, and environmental causes. Simply put, the social entrepreneurs use the money that you pay them for social good.

Especially at the turn of the twentieth century, more and more community enterprises were put up here by young entrepreneurs with impressive leapfrog technologies and innovations. One of these is the "Bambike Revolution Cycles", which are locally-made bicycles with the main chassis built from sturdy bamboo. It has a two-prong approach for community betterment: 1) it provides employment to the people of Tarlac who makes those bikes; and 2) they set up a bike tour for the tourists to enjoy famous Manila landmarks by pedaling their way using the bamboo bikes. I have experienced it myself and those bikes look stylishly great, too.
Bambike workers assembling the bicycle body in Tarlac. 
In the provinces, SE continues to have big leaps forward. A community enterprise that I have recently discovered on Facebook was the Taclob bags. It was made by the survivors of the strongest typhoon in the country, Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan). As a response to the growing need for a source of livelihood, the Taclob project improved the survivors' well-being by allowing them to make bags from discarded materials - which also helps in the reduction of solid waste in Tacloban City.

These are just but a handful of the dynamic social entrepreneurship trend in the Philippines today. Not just geared towards the financial rewards, these community enterprises give proactive contribution in resolving Philippine issues.
The "Compassion" bag, one of the bestselling bags of the Taclob project. 
However, while SE leaves lasting impact to our society, the need to regulate and protect these initiatives arises. A piece of legislation was introduced by Representative Erin Tañada in the Congress four years ago. It was entitled “Magna Carta for Social Enterprises of 2012" but sad to say, it did not gain any traction. With this new administration of Pres. Duterte, however, I see a ray of hope for he seemed to favor pro-poor policies. A legislative measure would raise awareness and governmental support which would further encourage innovative community initiatives all over the archipelago.

It is undeniable that the Philippines could see social enterprise starting to have more and more impact in the coming years. I am hopeful that these community enterprises could be utilized as a  tool for the country's poverty reduction programs.  Who knows, we might have more Aisa Mijenos in the future that could work out creative and innovative ideas for social good - with the less fortunate ones as its primary stakeholders.

Photo Credits:

Aisa Mijeno with the SALt lamp, Accessed 11        October 2016.

Bambike Webiste. Tarlac Workers, Accessed 10 October 2016.

Taclob Facebook Page. Compassion Bag. Accessed 10 October 2016.

I was reading the dailies this morning and I stumbled upon the entertainment section. I was ecstatic to find out that six Filipino films are included in Portugal's 14th Internacional Festival Signos de la Noite line-up which will take place 2 days from now in Lisbon. That's a good number of locally-produced movies shown in an international silver screen.

 as we're inching closer to December, the month where we finally see majority of Philippine movies dominate the ticket sales due to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), it seems to me that 2016 is a good year for Philippine Cinema. We are treated with a  long line of achievements from our dear Filipino filmmakers both here and abroad for this year.
At a filming location in one of a Lav Diaz's movies.
Director Lav Diaz got the Top Prize at the Venice Film Festival for Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) last month. On the other hand, 62nd Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza's opus, Ma' Rosa earned the Best Actress award for Jaclyn Jose who plays the lead role. This film about drug-dealing was also chosen out of the 8 local films to be the country's 2017 Oscars official entry.

Some months ago, before my kababayan (townmate) Liryc Dela Cruz attended Filmadrid, I had the chance of talking with him about his works, influences, and his then-latest opus Sa Pagitan Ng Pagdalaw At Paglimot (The Ebb of Forgetting). It was a great interview that I actually posted it in two parts for my vlog show. 
A screenshot of my interview with Director Liryc Dela Cruz for my YouTube show.
With these feats, and with the bunch of other Filipino films that are making waves outside the archipelago, one thing is certain here: the Filipino cinema is alive and well. And it is rightly so, with a rich cultural and historical backdrop, the Filipino storytellers have a way of telling their own narratives through the Pinoy director's viewfinders.

However, a lot of things has yet to be done in order to maintain the momentum that the Filipino film industry has been having since the start of the millenium. One of the interviews that stuck in recent memory is the PDI article entitled, "Lav Diaz: Why do filmmakers have to beg from government". It was such a great wake up call to us Pinoys that behind the glitz and the glam of the red carpet are the hardships encountered by our talents just to produce their masterpieces.

Financially, the government has been appropriating measly funding for film development. Even for the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), our filmmakers need to be on bended knees to ask for support. For what I see as a possible response to Pinoy directors' concerns, a week after the Diaz interview came out, the new FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño announced to the public that a new travel assistance program for producers of local films. I am glad that they listened to our directors' sentiments.

And while these new financial assistance scheme is a welcome development, many still has to be done. The FDCP should further foster the development of Pinoy cinema. Excellent cinema can be sourced from the various parts of the country and we still need to find more directors that would take the craft to another level. And since education is key as well, we might need to educate the younger generation on cinema appreciation. This would continue to be a challenge; I honestly believe.

Last week, I went out to see Yeon Sang Ho's horror movieTrain to Busan at a sold-out Pampanga theater mainly watched by a horde of Filipino youngsters. It was a great movie and I was surprised that it actually premiered last May at Cannes. The special effects and the overall production, and the story of the movie was excellent.

This made me ask myself: will there be a time for more Pinoy films to venture on unconventional storytelling? In my lifetime, will Filipino-produced movies have sold-out theaters worldwide, just how the Korean zombie flick did? Will it be possible to have intelligently-entertaining films that the masses would get to appreciate?

But with us being bombarded by formulaic films - MMFF movies included - for our Pinoy directors, for now, it remains to be a long shot.
Hello everyone! I know that it's been quite some time since I've posted an entry here on my blog. I've been quite busy in conceptualizing and producing the vlog episodes and add to that, in getting both ends meet.

It has been great in the past couple of months. I had the opportunity of sharing my thoughts with a French journalist, Chloe, over a cup of coffee. Her insights on politics and society impressed me a lot.

For the past months, as well, it seemed that our YouTube reach for our channel grew in a significant way. In fact, last week, we've just crossed the 1,000th follower-limit. Thank you so much for the patronage.

The first teaser for my YouTube channel back in Q1 of this year.
And maybe, to top this episode of Word of Thanks is my heartfelt thanks to my friends, family, readers and followers.

Two (2) of my articles were nominated for the 2016 Philippine American Press Club's PLARIDEL AWARDS  (Excellence in Filipino American Journalism) for the editorial and entertainment categories. I'll be one in spirit with fellow journalists for the said event next week in Kalayaan Hall, 447 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA, United States.

This is my first international nomination for an award. I am grateful to my The Global Filipino family. Thank you so much to the organizers at mabuhay po tayong lahat!
This is the full list of names of politicians, judges, policemen, and members of the armed forces that are allegedly involved with illegal drugs. These are the names mentioned by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hours earlier.

Judge Mupas of Dasmarinas Cavite
Judge Reyes (only known) - Baguio City
Judge Savilo - RTC branch 13 Iloilo City
Judge Casiple - Kalibo, Aklan
Judge Rene Gonzales - MTC
Judge Navidad - RTC Calbayog City
Judge Exequiel Dagala - MTC
Judge Dapa - Siargao
Mayor Reynaldo Flores - Naguilian, La Union
Mayor Dante Garcia - Tubao, La Union
Mayor Martin De Guzman - Bauang, La Union
Mayor Marjorie Apel Salazar - Lasam, Cagayan
Mayor Goto Violago - San Rafael, Bulacan
Mayor Marino Morales - Mabalacat, Pampanga
Mayor Felix Castillo - Langiden, Abra
Ex-Mayor Eufranio Eriguel - Agoo, La Union
Mayor Jesus Celeste "Alias Boying" - Bolinao, Pangasinan
Mayor Jose "Pepe" Miranda - Santiago City, Isabela
Mayor Vicente Amante - San Pablo City, Laguna
Mayor Ryan Dolor - Bauan, Batangas
Vice Mayor Edgardo Trinidad - El Nido, Palawan
Mayor Alex Centena - Calinog, Iloilo
Mayor Julius Ronald Pacificador - Hamtic, Antique
Mayor Jed Mabilog - Iloilo City
Mayor Sigfredo Betita - Carles, Iloilo
Mayor Mariano Malones - Maasin, Iloilo
Ex-Mayor Michael Rama - Cebu City
Mayor Hector Ong - Laoang, Northern Samar
Mayor Rolando Espinosa - Albuera, Samar
Mayor Beda Canamaque - Basay, Negros Oriental
Ex-Mayor Madeline Ong - Laoang, Northern Samar
Vice Mayor Francis Ansing Amboy - Maasin, Iloilo
Fralz Sabalones - San Fernando Cebu
Antonio Pesina - Iloilo City
Erwin "Tongtong" Plagata - Iloilo City
Ex-Congressman JC Rahman Nava - Guimaras
Party-list Rep. Jeffrey Celis
Ex-Mayor Abubakar Abdukarim Afdal - Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
Mayor Gamar Ahay Janihim - Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte
David Navarro - Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
Bobby Alingan - Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte
Yusofa Monder Bugong Ramin - Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Jessie Aguilera - Alegria, Surigao del Norte
Mayor Fahad Salic - Marawi City
Mayor Mohammad Ali Abenal - Marantao, Lanao del Sur
Jamal Dadayan - Buadiposo-Buntong, Lanao del Sur
Sabdullah Macabago - Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur
Muslim Aline Macadatu - Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur
Rasul Sangki - Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Montaser Sabal - Talitay, Maguindanao
Vicman Montawal - Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Samsudin Dimaukom - Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Norodin Salasal - Datu Salibo, Maguindanao
Ex-Mayor Benahar Tulawie - Talipao, Sulu
Reynaldo Parojinog - Ozamiz City
Nova Princess Parojinog Echavez - Ozamiz City
Mayor Omar Solitario Ali - Marawi City
Vice Mayor Abdul Wahab Sabal - Talitay, Magundanao
Otto Montawal - Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Nida Dimagkon - Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Arafat Salic - Marawi City
Rasmiyah Macabago - Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur
Congressman Guillermo Romarate, Jr. - 2nd District, Surigao del Norte
Former board member Ricardo Parojinog - Misamis
The following active and retired law enforcement officers were mentioned (list as read by Duterte:
P/Insp. Rolando Batulayan (ret.)
P/Supt. Maristelo Manalo - PNP-CIDG
PCI Roberto Palisoc - Station 7 MPD
P/Supt. Ciceron Ada (ret.)
PCI Eric Buenaventura - Navotas
PO2 Geraldine Bautista Manuel - PNP PRO2
SPO3 Ronald Calap - Isabela PPO
POC Rodel Samoledo - Lalio Police Station
PO3 Cecilio Domingo - Nueva Ecija CIDT
PO2 Ryan Mendoza - Tarlac Police Station
Jeffrey Serafica - Butuan PPO
PO1 Norman Adarlo - Puerto Galera NPS
PO1 Mark Christian Catalina - PNP Camarines Norte
PO2 Alan Carpio PCP - 8 Pasay City
PO3 Eric Lazo - QCPD Station 6
PO3 Alexander Macabeo - PCP 3 Paranaque City
PO3 Johnny Mahilum - QCPD Station 6 Batasan
PO2 Celito Melendrez - Binangonan Police Station
Gen. Vicente Loot (ret.)
Gen. Valerio (ret.) - Santa Barbara, Iloilo
Gen. Bernardo Diaz - Region 6
Gen. Idio - RTC of Calbayog City
P/Supt. Floro (ret.) - Antique City PNP
P/Supt. Kashmir Disomangcop - COP of Iloilo Base Commander
P/Supt. Delia Paz - Chief RDIDM
P/Supt. Genepa - RIU Intelligence
P/Supt. Ipil Duenas
P/Supt. Condag
P/Supt. Eugenio Malic - PNP Maritime Group
Lamsis - former chief Antique anti-drug
P/Supt. Gomboc
P/Supt. Lebin
PCI Maymay
PSI Kenneth Militar - Iloilo
PSI Donasco
P/Insp. De Jose - SOG PNP Region 6
P/Insp. Duarte - former PCOP of Arevalo, Iloilo
P/Insp. Vicente Vicente - COP Banate
P/Insp. Romeo Santander - Former chief intel Cebu
PO2 Michael Cortez - Barile Police Station
SPO1 Jen dela Victoria - PS5 Cebu CPO
SPO1 Onel Nabua - Barile Police Station
PO2 Jomar Ibanez - Lapu-Lapu Police Station
PO3 Ryan Martus Kiamco - Cebu Provincial Office
PCI Ibrahim Jabiran - Zamboanga CPO
PCI Perfecto Abrasaldo Awi Jr. - Misamis Oriental
P/Insp. Roy Montes - Iligan PRO
P/Supt. Ricardo Gando Pulot - COP Quezon Bukidnon
P/Insp. Martin Plaza - former Panabo chief intel
PO1 Pierre Dizo - Zamboanga del Sur
PO3 Omar Juani - Zamboanga City Public Safety
Rommel Mansul - PRO9
PO3 Daryl Page - Tabasan Municipal Station
SPO1 Totong Joe Valdez - 9th RNG
SPO4 Rodrigo Ramos - Bukidnon PRO
SPO1 Reynaldo dela Victoria - CDO
SPO3 Emilio Mendoza - Lozaria PP5 Iligan City
Marlo Espinosa - Bukidnon
SPO3 Richie Mat - CIDG Mati Davao Oriental
SPO3 Rosell Iliviera - CIDG Tagum Davao del Norte
PO3 Jessie Balabag - Region 11
PO3 Filomeno Toronia - Digos Police Station
PO1 Glenn Alicarte - PRO 12
PO1 Philip Pantarolia - Tacurong City Police Office
SPO1 Gerry dela Rosa - SCPPO
PO3 Bebot Ruiz - GSCPO
PO3 Estelito Solanio - Malongon MPS Sarangani
PO1 Jerebel Ocsio - PRO RMN
SPO1 Ernesto Billones - NCR
JS1 Lito Montemayor - Roxas District Jail Aparri
PO1 Vicente Reynaldo Celis - NCR
PG Drexel Saet - MIMAROPA
SPO1 Felix Tubil - Region 3
SPO3 Nicolas Ponce Angeles - Region 3
SPO2 Rod Erseni - Marinduque BFP
FO1 Reynaldo Valencia - Claveria Police Station
SSgt. Vic dela Cruz - MIMAROPA
B/Gen. Leoncio Daniega - NCR
SPO3 Gerry Mendoza - NCR
Reymante Dayto - Region 5
Reymar Dayto - Region 5
Renato Zamora - Region 6
J1 Alan Manatad - Region 7
SPO3 Christie Cielo Tingad - Region 7
RSAD Casimiro Castro - CAFGU 38IB 6ID ARMM
RSAD Pfc. Philip Miro - 40IB 6ID ARMM
Cpl. Cusinan Lopez - 52IB ARMM
Pfc. Mamadali Ipad - 64IB 6ID
Yasin Abolgalib
JO1 Alfredo Ogacho
FO1 Nicolas Ponce Ablaca
FO1 Ricardo Ibanez
Marine Cpl. Alfrenz Gurias Abedin
Jimmy Manlangit - Region 12

Ito ay isang sanaysay na isinulat ko ngayon lang; tungkol sa aking karanasan noong bata pa ako. Ito ay isang personal na artikulo.
Nakita ko ang librong I WONDER WHY sa isang mall at isang matamis na kabanata ng aking buhay ang aking naalala, mahigit isang dekada na ang nakakaraan.
Summer break 'yon at mag-ge-Grade 6 na ako nang nagkaroon ako ng munting trabaho: sa isang encyclopedia stall. Napadaan lang ako noon sa stall at nagbasa-basa ako ng mga Grolier books; tinanong ako ng ilang mga trivia questions at nasagot ko nang tama ang mga ito. Pagkatapos noon, kinausap ng lalaking may-ari ang mama ko kung pwede raw ba akong maging ahente nila. Swerteng pumayag din ang papa ko.
Araw-araw akong bumiyahe mula sa bayan namin, papuntang Koronadal City, upang maging batang ahente. Ang naging trabaho ko ay ang lumapit sa mga mall-goer at umalok sa kanilang bumili ng Grolier Encyclopedia. Meron akong mga prepared lines at ang goal ko ay maka-fill-up sila ng mga order forms namin.
Masyadong mahal ang mga encylopedia noon. Siguro mga nasa 24,000+ pesos. Kapag atrasado sila sa presyo ng mga encyclopedia, second offer ko ang isang set ng I WONDER WHY books. Iba't-ibang tao ang aking nilalapitan, kadalasan, mga nanay. Kapag napapayag ko sila; siyempre, bibili sila ng encyclopedia sets. Pwede rin silang puntahan ng demo team tungkol sa mga produkto namin, kung gusto nila.
Kuha habang sumasayaw noong nasa Grade 5 pa ako.
Araw-araw akong nagbi-biyahe at pumapasok sa opening hours ng mall. Nagdadala ako ng sarili kong baunan para sa pananghalian. Kasama ko ang ibang mga bantay rin ng stalls sa karenderya. Sumasakay ako ng bus, wala pang 7:30 AM. Umuuwi ako nang mga 4 or 4:30 PM; mag-isa.
Bagama't hindi ganun kalaki ang isinahod sa akin, ang importante para sa akin, ay ang karanasan kong iyon tungkol sa pagkayod at sa pagkakaroon ng work ethic. Hindi ako pinagtrabaho dahil wala kaming makain, pinayagan ako dahil isa iyong nakikitang mabuting training sa akin. At dahil doon, nagpapasalamat ako sa mga magulang ko sa pagkakataong iyon.
Marami nang nagbago; wala nang mga Grolier Encyclopedia akong nakikita sa mga puwesto sa mall. Subalit, nakatutuwa pa ring malaman na meron pang I WONDER WHY na libro gaya nito. High-tech na rin ngayon kasi meron na silang electronic pen na kasama ng libro. Balang araw, kapag nagkaroon din ako ng sarili kong mga anak; ibibili ko sila ng I WONDER WHY - o pwede ko rin silang ipag-ahente ng mga encylopedia sa mall.
The National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea ( NYMWPS), in collaboration with the PEOPLE POWER VOLUNTEER FOR REFORM AND KOMPRe under the leadership of Ms. Norma Gielo Amata, Chairman of Zambales and Olongapo chapters, will be holding a peaceful protest rally against China's invasion, occupation and militarization of the West Philippine Sea - Scarborough Shoal and Kalayaan Island Group, Palawan, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, from 3 pm to 5 pm, at Masinloc ground seashore, Masinloc, Zambales , Philippines.
The theme of the event is " The victory of the West Philippine Sea is the victory of every Filipino."
More than 300 participants comprising of fisherfolks representing the 14 towns of Zambales who are affected by China's invasion and occupation of the Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, Non- Governmental Organizations, public officials, lawmakers, NYMWPS officers, residents of Masinloc, among others, are expected to attend.

To those who would like to join the rally, please contact Ms. Norma Amata at 0927-8347450 and Ms. Norms Silvestre, NYMWPS Global Secretariat at
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at ang Sambayanang Pilipino! 
God bless the Philippines and the Filipino people!
Thank you very much!
Dr. Celia Lamkin
Founder and Global Chairperson, National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea ( NYMWPS)
Founder and Chair, Global Movement for the West Philippine Sea ( GMWPS)

This is a press release.