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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

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I love comics! I had a measly collection of vintage action comics back in elementary. I bought those at auctions, book sales, and some are from my brother. I have X-Men, Icon, Static Shock, X-Factor, Superman, and Wonder Woman Comics.

But I believe the comic strip characters, not like those from comic books face terrible unhappiness in life. Usually placed at the back or inside newspapers, I was able to write down their grievances on this cruel world.

The top 10 complaints by comic strip characters, ladies and gentlemen:

10. Limited freedom; can’t roam around.

9. Have to share page with horoscope or crossword puzzle.

8. Word balloon causes pressure on head.

7. Body out of proportion (many have large heads).

6. Poor night life.

5. Dizziness, vomiting from smell of newsprint.

4. Teeth drawn like a mouthpiece; individual tooth not seen.

3. “Is the world really colorless or am I just pale?”

2. “Garfield smells bad.”




Am I missing something? They've got only four fingers!

1. “I don’t have thumbs!”

Picture Credits:
http://namoit.com/no-garfield-comic-strip-theme.htm


The year 2010 has been a fruitful year for my blogging career. I've started in April at the height of the 2010 Presidential Elections and never did I imagine that I would still continue to blog up until this point. With a schedule so jam-packed with studying law, working as a college teacher, some commitments with an international organization, and having a very beautiful girlfriend, I am pleased to have sustained my passion in writing.

Blogging for more than a year with a blog view total of more than 10,000. I've come to the conclusion that still much has to be done. In a country where "modified" Darwinism is at play (and with that I mean, the "survival of the richest"), there is a need to get to our thinking caps and do better for this country.

Having earned a degree in Political Science at Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, it has been my continued passion to talk about the issues that affect the Filipino people. Yup, this new blog focuses on Filipino politics, current issues, history, critiques and analyses. Things that has continued to run around my brain for more than two decades.

Every thinking man's challenge is to find a way to make politics as gripping and engaging as basketball, showbiz chismis, or teleseryes. The URL of this blog is www.politikalon.blogspot.com. This is a portmanteau of two words, "politika", which means "politics" and "tikalon" a Hiligaynon word which refers to a showoff. Most politicians have this quality, to whom I personally call as the bloody politikalons (or the blabbering politicians).

When we, Filipinos, become politically mature, watch how Filipinos will do nothing but talk about who did what in Malacanang, or at the Supreme Court, or at the United Nations.

On this new endeavor, I've got to acknowledge some people. First and foremost, those of you who have read this blog. I hope you had a few good chuckles at made you ponder upon some things at the same time. 

To the thousands of readers, visitors, friends and fans (are there?) of my previous blog; in the Philippines and other parts of the globe, thank you. And I hope that you'd still continue reading and supporting my new space here in the Internet. Thank you for those enlightening critiques on my articles, too. Promise me that you won’t just leave this webpage and go back to playing Farmville. You are the only ones who are going to change things.


Salamat po sa mga sumusuporta at sumusubaybay.
Shoutouts to Admin Nanard Navarro of the South Cotabato Tambayan for choosing my article to win the 1st Place in the 1st SCT Blog-Writing Contest. He even included my old blog, "The Official Weblog of JR Lopez Gonzales" on his Top 10 Emerging Influential Blog for 2010. This is also humbly dedicated to my alma mater, the glorious Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology which served as my haven for six years now.

Ultimately, to all the Filipino journalists who, because of their dedication and determination, were able to bring about the news to the public. Even if it means threat to life for the sake of work and social responsibility. Maguindanao Massacre victims, you will never be forgotten.

I may be a college teacher. A law student. Yet my heart will always bleed with ink.


 Photo Credit:

Sa marami nang pagkakataon napatunayan ko na mahusay tayong mga Pinoy pagdating sa Inglesan. Ang mga Arabo, mga Europeo, maging sa mga karatig-bansa natin sa Asya ay ‘di mapigilan ang paghanga sa ating intelihibilidad. Lubos ang aking paghanga sa ating kakayahan na makipagtalastasan sa mga dayuhan gamit ang Ingles na para bang naging natural at walang kahirap-hirap na sa atin ang pagsambit ng mga katagang ‘di likas sa atin.
Mahusay na nga ba tayong mag-Ingles?

Napakapartikular pa nga natin sa pagsasalita ng Ingles na kadalasan, kinukutya at pinupuna natin ang isang tao kapag hindi tama ang grammar o ang pronunciation niya. Naalala ko tuloy ang isang guro ko sa high school. Tuwing bibigkasin niya ang salitang “paper” humahalakhak ng palihim ang klase dahil sa kanyang pronunciation na “peeper”. ‘Di ko matanto kung bakit manghang-mangha tayo sa mga mahuhusay mag-Ingles at ang hindi naman ay tinatawag nating “bobo”. Kapag kasi mas mala-Amerikano kung magsalita, mas “in”. Siya ay “sosyal” at sophisticated kapag “slang” ang kanyang pagsasalita. Totoo ngang nakapugal na ang wikang Ingles sa ating kultura.

Bakit nga naman ‘di natin magugustuhan ang Ingles? Sa loob ng limampung taon, nagawa ng Amerikano ang kailanman ‘di nagawa ng mga Espanyol sa loob ng tatlong daan at tatlumpu’t tatlong taon na pananakop ng Pilipinas – ang magawang baguhin ang pananaw ng mga Pilipino at matanggap nang may pagmamahal sa kanilang mga amo. ‘Di tulad ng istratehiya ng Espanya gamit ang Katolisismo, pampublikong edukasyon ang naging susi ng mga Kano upang tayo’y masakop nila.

Maliban sa kapansin-pansin na pagtaas ng ating ekonomiya sa buong Asya, sinasabi ng Human Development Report na ang kakayahan ng isang Pilipino at Amerikano sa paaralan noon 1920 ay hindi magkalayo. Ito ay marahil sa, ang mga guro noong panahon sa Pilipinas ay ang mga Amerikanong Thomasites kung kaya’t mas madaling naipasa sa atin ang kanilang pamamaraan at pamumuhay. Kaya rin siguro magaling mag-Ingles ang ating mga lolo – mga English native speakers kasi ang kanilang mga guro.

Hindi ako tutol sa pagsasalita ng Ingles maging sa paghayag dito bilang medium of instruction (kaalinsabay ng Filipino). Dapat nga namang linangin ang kakayahan natin sa pagsulat at pagsasalita ng Ingles dahil sa globalisasyon. Kung iisipin, nang dahil sa kaalaman natin sa Ingles, naglipana ang mga foreign companies at call centers. Dinadayo pa nga tayo ng mga banyaga katulad ng mga Koreano para lamang magpaturo sa atin ng Ingles.

Ingles ang kadalasang wika ng ating mass media, ng pakikipagkalakalan at maging sa pampulitikal na interaksyon. Ang lingua franca ng mga asignatura, lalung-lalo na ng sa Agham at Matematika ay English. Hindi ko nga lubos maisip kung ang mga libro ng mga medicine students ay nakalimbag sa wikang Tagalog o ang mga terminolohiya sa pag-aaral ko ng batas ay purong nakasulat sa wikang Cebuano!

Noong taong 2003, inilabas ng dating Pangulong Gloria Arroyo ang E.O. 210 na naglalayong palakasin ang English bilang 2nd language ng Pilipino. Ito rin marahil ang dahilan kung bakit noong mga nagdaang taon, isinulong ng isang mambabatas ang pagtatag sa Ingles bilang tanging medium of instruction. Ayon sa “English bill” na inakda ni Rep. Eduardo Gullas; mali ang ating sistema ng edukasyon at ito raw ay nangangailangan ng wikang dinamiko tulad ng Ingles.

Maaring tama siya sa pagsabing ang Ingles ay mas static kumpara sa ibang wika kagaya ng Filipino o ng mga dayalekto. Nguni’t parang naging masyado yata tayo’ng nagmamadali para sa globalisasyon kahit na hindi naman angkop ang sistema ng ating edukasyon para dito. Masasabi nating mahusay ang sistema ng edukasyon noon,pero ngayon, ‘di na sing-galing.

Upang mas maiging maintindihan ang ibig kong sabihin, tingnan natin ang istatistikang nakalap tungkol sa ating sistema ng edukasyon:

Ayon sa National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), sa taong 2006-2007, ang bilang ng dropout ay tumaas mula 8.6 hanggang 9 porsiyento – malayo sa kanilang target na mabawasan ito ng 5.5% at 2009 target na 4.3%. Sa katunayan, nitong Hunyo lamang, 23 milyon na batang Pinoy ang nagbalik-eskwela nguni’t inaasahan na bago magtapos ang taon, dalawang milyon nito ang da-dropout.

Sa bawat 100 na kabataang pumapasok ng Grade 1, 65 lamang ang aabot ng Grade 6. Labing-walo (18) sa mga dropouts sa elementary ay nasa pagitan ng Grade 1 at 2. Ang ibig sabihin, isa sa tatlong mag-aaral sa elementary ang humihinto sa pag-aaral. Ang net enrollment ratio mula ng taong 2003 hanggang 2007 ay pababa ng pababa, mula sa 90.3% naging 83.2% na lamang.

Ayon sa National Education Support Strategy ng United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), lubhang nakakabahala na mababang kalidad ng edukasyon sa elementarya sa Pilipinas base sa achievement rates. Dalawampu’t anim na porsiyento (26%) lamang ng mga mag-aaral sa ika-anim na baitang ang may mastery of English (ang mastery ay nangangahulugang 75% o higit pa ang marking nakuha). Tatlungpu’t isa (31%) ang may mastery of Mathematics at 15% naman ang sa Agham. Ganun rin ang isinasaad ng istatistika sa High School: 7% na kahusayan sa Ingles; 16% sa Matematika, at 2% sa Agham.

Magpahanggang sa kolehiyo hindi pa rin kasiya-siya ang mga istatistika sa kalidad ng ating edukasyon; 2-7% lamang ng mga college graduates na nagnais makapasok sa mga call center ang mayroong kahusayan sa Ingles. At kahit na matanggap pa, kinakailangan pa rin nilang magsanay sa loob ng tatlong buwan para maging mahusay sa pagsasalita ng wikang Ingles. Mababa pa sa 20% ng kabuuang populasyon natin ang may kakayanang makipag-usap sa purong wikang Ingles.

Ayon kay G. Ricardo Nolasco ng Linguistics Department ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, ang numero unong dahilan ng malaking dropout rates sa elementarya ay ang hindi pagkakaintindi ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang mga guro. Sa cognitive aspect ng mental development ng mga bata, mas nagiging pahirap ang pag-aaral gamit ang wikang Ingles. Halimbawa, ang isang estudyante sa Maynila na malamang ay pinalaki sa wikang Tagalog, ay siguradong malilito sa pag-aaral gamit ang wikang Ingles. Lalo itong naging mas mahirap sa batang hindi-Tagalog ang unang lenggwahe; mahirap pagsabayin ang Filipino at Ingles ng estudyante kung rehiyonal na dayalekto (tulad ng Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Maranao, o iba pa) ang ikinalakihan niya sa bahay

Ang kadalasang naging paniniwala natin sa paggamit ng salitang banyaga ay ang pag-aakalang ang tagal ng paggamit nito sa mga paaralan ay lubusang nakakatulong sa katalinuhan at kahusayan ng isang bata sa paaralan. Nguni’t sa kasalukuyan, ating masasabi na hindi naging epektibo ang Ingles bilang medium of instruction dahil sa isang simpleng rason – hindi ito ang natural na wika ng isang mag-aaral.

Ang ating mga guro sa Ingles ay hindi native English-speakers kung kaya’t hindi natin nalalasap ang pangkasaysayang lalim na kaakibat ng wikang ito. Hindi na ito dapat pagtakahan pa sa isang bansa na ayon pa sa National Commission for Culture and the Arts, ay may 78 grupo ng lenggwahe at 500 na dayalekto. Ayon kay Dr. Jovy Peregrino, ng Sentro ng Wikang Filipino sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas; ni hindi nga tayo nakapagbuo ng mga komunidad na nagsasalita lamang ng purong Ingles.

Sinasabing ang wika ay isang behikulo ng kaisipan, ito ang daan patungo sa puso ng isang tao, at pinakaimportante dito, ito ang kasasalaminan ng kultura at karanasan ng isang lahi. Ako ay naniniwala na lubhang mas epektibo ang paggamit ng dayalekto kasabay ng wikang pambansa sa pagtuturo sa mababang baitang sa elementarya.

Noong nakaraang taon lamang inaprobahan ang aktuwal na paggamit ng Multilingual Education (MLE) sa buong bansa sa bisa ng Department Order #74 ng DepEd ngunit matagal na itong ginagamit ng mga taga-Lubuagan sa probinsiya ng Kalinga. Sa nagdaang sampung taon, ang 4th class municipality ng Lubuagan ang naging modelo ng bansa pagdating sa Multi-lingual Education. Dalawang dekada na ang nakakaraan, sila ay napabilang sa Top 10 non-performing schools sa buong Pilipinas.

Wikang Libuagen (isang variety ng Kalingan dialect) lamang ang ginagamit sa Lubuagan Elementary School mula Grade 1 hanggang 3 kung kaya’t mas naging madali ang pag-intindi ng mga aralin kagaya ng Matematika, Agham, pati na ang pag-aaral ng Filipino at ng Ingles. Sa dalawang dekada na paggamit ng vernacular; mayroong zero drop rate ang paaralan. Noong 2006, ang Lubuagan district ang nagtamo ng pinakamataas na marka sa National Achievement Test sa Grade 3 reading test sa Ingles at Filipino sa mean score na 76.55% at 76.45%. Hindi rin nahihirapan ang mga guro sa pagtuturo kung kaya’t sila’y nahirang na “Best School for Kalinga” at “Model of Multilingual Education in the Philippines”.

Ang mga resulta ng mga pag-aaral ay mas maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw: para matamo ang kahusayan ng mag-aaral sa Ingles o Filipino, and pinakaepektibong paraan ng pagtuturo ay ang unang wika na natutunan ng bata. Kung nakaya nga ng mga bansang Pransya, Alemanya, Tsina, Hapon, at iba pa, na gamitin ang kanilang sariling wika sa mga paaralan, siguradong magagawa rin natin ito sa PIlipinas. ‘Di man sila ganoon kagaling sa Inglesan, mas malalim naman ang kanilang pagkakaintindi sa mundong nakapaligid sa kanila.

Totoo nga’t mahalaga ang wikang Ingles, nguni’t mas mahalaga pa rin ang talino at kakayahan. Bagama’t importante ang laman at sustansiya ng pagtuturo, lubhang napakaimportante ring malaman kung papaano ihahain at kakainin ito nang siguradong mabusog ang kaisipan ng ating mga kabataan.

Ang transisyon mula sa dayalekto hanggang sa opisyal na wika ay dapat na marahan at gamitin sa mataas na antas ng elementarya lamang. Kung sa bagay, ang tanging layunin nga naman talaga ng edukasyon ay para matuto ang isang mag-aaral. Ano ang silbi ng libro kung ‘di naman ito naiintindihan? Walang silbi ang isang lipon ng salita kung hindi naman ito nauunawaan.

Maraming dapat baguhin sa educational system natin at isa na rito ang lubusang pagpapatupad ng paggamit ng dayalekto sa pagtuturo sa elementarya. Masarap sigurong gumawa ng mga batas o reporma sa ating edukasyon balang araw; pero sa ngayon, dahil ako ay isang estudyante – pagbubutihan ko na lang muna ang aking pag-aaral.
 
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Author's Note:
Ang artikulong ito ay nailathala na sa "Banwag", Schoolpaper ng Saint Michael's College of Iligan City. Tagalog-Cotabato ang wikang kinalakihan ko kung kaya’t ang artikulo ay nakasulat sa wikang Filipino.

Here’s my Top 10 steps on how to produce a high-rating Filipino soap opera that would surely increase TV revenues and leave each mindless Pinoy stuck catatonically stuck at their TVs everyday.




1. Hire top-bill stars for the cast. Guys should be handsome and he has to have nice abs. Ladies should be very beautiful, sexy…and fair skinned.

2. Since most Filipino telenovelas are love stories, the protagonists should later find out that they were brothers and sisters. But don’t worry. In the end they will also find out that they were not siblings because one of them is an adopted child.

3. There should be a lot of crying, slapping, and hysterical yelling.

4. If the telenovela is received well by the viewers; extend the story by introducing the already saturated cast with new characters. Well if not, abruptly cut the script, kill some characters and finally end it.

5. To stretch the story, the character known to be killed (or dead) in the story must appear in the later part. Just give the alibi that he or she was saved in the accident or other person was buried and not him/her.

6. Villains should have one or more of these qualities: rude, greedy, violent, rich, or psychopath.

7. The girl will meet a new guy which will consequently be her new love-interest (same is true for the male).

8. The kontrabida should have a gun. It is very essential for harassing, kidnapping, or threating the protagonists.

9. For the grand finale, the antagonist must die from a violent death: car accident or explosion, gunshot, fire, or falling from a building. Note: it should be a very gruesome or painful death.

10. Lastly, the protagonists will end up getting married and eventually have children. For best effect, the children should be twins.

The inset is sent to me by a reader, Eman, on November 5, 2010

here are some i think are essentials *as far as ive noticed*:

1. in the beginning of the telenovela, there must be a flashback *childhood sweethearts, etc*, where the main characters are still in their childhood including their parents. as you have noticed all telenovela's undergo that part.

2. if the ratings are good, then extend the show further by adding additional stars, killing some or making twists. makes the story far off from the original plot though.

3. announce the coming ending of the telenovela one month ahead. like saying "ang huling tatlong linggo" to boost viewers and increase ad views.

4. Make text promos if the show ratings are bad.

Picture Credits:
Ugly Betty - http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/dreyes/1/1231716540/filipino-xugly-bettyx-tv-show.jpg/tpod.html
Even with the advent of really entertaining cyberplaces like Facebook, Digg, Plurk, Twitter, et cetera, television is still the best tool that could be employed to change an entire society’s mentality. There may be millions of Pinoy netizens like you and me yet we pale in comparison with those who still prefer TV as the best (or only) avenue for the latest news and amusement.

According to the figures from the TIME magazine, “across the developing world, around 45% of households had TV in 1995; by 2005 the number had climbed above 60%.” In fact, in the Philippines we have “3,700,000 TV sets, that makes us the 45th in the world”[1]. Sixty-three-point-one percent (63.1%) of the Filipino households have idiot boxes. Compare this to only 45.138 personal computers per million Filipinos [2]. While the Philippine case is not a lot if you compare it to Western households where there are more TV’s than people, it still means that there are more people who own TVs than those who have access to the Internet.


But what really contorts my mood is the low-brow Filipino TV programs. Turn your set on and you’ll know what I mean. Each day, our TV sets are bombarded with Filipino-dubbed cartoons and Asian teleseryes, bird-brain showbiz talkshows, foreign-adapted game shows, “not-so-real” reality shows, remakes of original Filipino classics, and not to mention the recycled storylines of our evening dramas. Yuck. I was even told by my pops that Pera o Bayong segment of the infamous show Wowowee! is merely a mock-up of Pepe Pimentel’s Kwarta o Kahon (talk about the good unsoiled days of local TV).

At sino’ng ‘di mawiwili? (pun intended). Wowowee!, even though now not on the air due to a feud between Willie Revillame and ABS-CBN, his new show “Willing Willie” is still happily dehumanizing us on TV5. (If you forgot to ask, Luningning is there, too). Well it seems noontime shows won’t complete without sexy dancing girls. Bikini-clad girls grind and shake their booties on a show at a time when people are just taking their lunch.


What I personally don’t like about these is that they do not project a respectable image of the Filipina to the whole wide world. The fact that these shows are present in the idiot boxes obviously mean one thing: majority of the Filipino masses enjoy and patronize these rotten shows. It clearly seemed that Filipinos are fond of engaging in activities to escape reality; feeling satisfied when we see better life through other people’s lives.

Why do the executive directors of these shows they allow these to be shown? Why can’t we have muscle-bound men? Even in sex-liberated countries, they guard their children against these kinds of shows. We don’t even see these dancing girls on the American Idol or other “general patronage” programs. I have to believe it is the unending practice and lure of big dole-outs that keep the variety shows going with the bunch of sexy gyrating ladies.

Then comes the afternoon shows. And what kinds of programs then do we have? The repetitive and predictable telenovelas (or “teleseryes”; the former’s that of ABS-CBN, the latter’s of GMA). Do you still remember Mara Clara? It is currently revived but back in the day when I was very young, it ran for five years (1992-1997). Five long years with storyline that merely revolves on a diary and a necklace.

(I’ve written my usual complimentary Top 10 post regarding Pinoy Telenovelas: click here for my “Top 10 Steps on How to Make A High-Rating Soap Opera in the Philippines”).

Well for decades, telenovelas have ruled primetime TV broadcasts. And the awfully most common genre of today is the so-called “fantaserye” (ABS-CBN) or “telefantasya” (GMA). Wow. Immature and nonsensical viewing at its best.

The reason for its success, I believe, is that it provides a “magical” escape to reality.
This calls for the Filipino realism-check. You must be familiar with any of the following assortment of fantasy series: Panday, Darna, Totoy Bato, Pilyang Kerubin, The Last Prince, Lobo, Imortal, Kokey, Encantadia, Etheria, Marina, Dyesebel, Captain Barbell, Kamandag, Illumina, Super Inggo, Varga, Capitan Boom, Lastikman, Fantastic Man, and Elias Paniki. (I’m sure I missed to mention bunch of others).





It seems we can’t get enough of these lousy fight scenes, cranky special effects and inferior 3D animations on our shows. Just what kind of lessons can (and did) we ever learn from these shows? How to fly? How to have superhuman strength from a magical stone? Why can’t we live based on the true facts of life? Can’t we appreciate and be amused with shows on real life?

It’s an easy Psychology 101, really. A recent survey notes that viewers love watching them because they provide inexpensive escape from their problems and boring lives, give them their daily “fix” of farce, and sometimes tell “inspirational” stories that impart principles. It’s catharsis, perhaps.

Am I saying that TVs are bad thing? No. I believe that TV plays a big role especially for tending the mentality of each Filipino. Children can even learn valuable lessons from the idiot boxes. Back in my kindergarten years, I remember singing to the tunes of Kapitan Bilang in ATBP., or Sine’Skwela. But the sad thing about today’s TV programs is that we lack socially-relevant and mentally-challenging shows (or telenovelas), for that matter. They excessively lack realism. Our soap operas, for me are immature and non-sensical. I have to agree with the words of the rapper, Loonie: /Lahat ng nakikita ko, nakakabobo/ Kahit nakapikit ako/ Nakaka-nakaka-Nakakabobo!/ [3]

And our TV giant executives care less about what they broadcast; they’re just there for the moolas. Teleseryes bring in large revenues. Once a show “clicks” and receives positive feedback from viewers, rest assured of a long drama and more guests filling in to support its commercial value. Thanks to these telenovelas, GMA and ABS-CBN get lots of cashouts from commercials. Put the teleseryes in the primetime while the docus should be in the dull wee hours.

I have to say that we need positive information in our TV programs. Aside from news, we can saturate the primetime with documentaries, historic events or maybe Filipino heroism. We should promote entrepreneurship and skills development, too. With these themes present, only then would I be a die-hard fan of Pinoy telenovelas.

On the some new themes on our TV shows, why can’t we make soap operas out of our own literature? Lives and love stories of our heroes, perhaps. Or telenovelas that would depict Muslims or Lumads as good people happily interacting with Christians? Or a show that educates us to veer away from corruption, gambling, or discrimination? Or maybe instill the value of work, discipline and education? It is surely amazing how that very appliance in our living rooms can do. I pray that these execs would care.

On the other hand, about us as the viewing public, instead of passively accepting whatever media companies try to feed us, would it be better if we take some time to reflect on why such programming is made and why we feel attracted to it? Perhaps we will discover that our motivations themselves are not so attractive.

References:
[1] http://www.nationmaster.com/country/rp-philippines/med-media
[2] http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/med_per_com_percap-media-personal-computers-per-capita
[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_geRdZ8SntQ

Picture Credits:

http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=368292&page=2

At the turn of the New Year, it is but proper to come up with a review of the events that transpired over the past 12 months. Check out my Top 10 hodgepodge events of 2010.


10 – You probably had the Last Song Syndrome with Manny Villar’s TV Ad, “Nakaligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura?” last May. I believe because of its media overkill, it should have been voted in the Billboard Charts and if be mass-produced, would surely be a radio hit.

9 - Last year’s election brought us the first ever automated election. Smartmatic’s PCOS (Precint Count Optical Scan) is the name; automated election was the game. And did I mention that Joseph Estrada allegedly junked his runningmate, the first black president Jejomar Binay? Photos and TV footage were there to prove it; Erap admitted skipping the VP slot but “returned” and then corrected it.

8 - A pathetic milestone in lawmaking was made by Lito Lapid. His proposed bill: seeking to limit the weight of bags of schoolchildren to three kilos. LOL (Oh, for old-timers, LOL means “Laugh Out Loud”).

7 - The seemingly-never ending debate between the RH bill proponents and the pro-life advocates also made the headlines. The president was warned with excommunication, Carlos Celdran was jailed, and there was a scuffle between the two groups outside the Manila Cathedral. And then suddenly, Report: Pope approves use of condom to prevent diseases”. I can’t help but smile.

6 - Words such as Taamah and major, major were everyone’s catchphrases for the year. Thanks to Maria Venus Raj’s major, major blunder at the Miss Universe Q & A. Taamah!

5 - The Bar blast that injured 44 people also made the headlines which brought us the question of whether to discontinue the long-standing tradition of Bar Exam Salubong or not. Raissa Laurel, the law student who lost her two legs after the blast, is modern-day picture of resiliency and optimism.

4 – In the world of sports, Manny’s eighth world title in eight different divisions made us proud in world sports. His opponent Antonio Margarito looked so awful after the twelve-round pugilism; he had cuts all over his face and a broken facial bone. On the other news, Philippine football team shocked defending champion Vietnam, 2 goals to nil in ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup tournament; finally reaching the semis against the powerhouse Indonesia. Will soccer be our next basketball?

3 - The biggest bonus in the history of Philippine lotto lured thousands of Pinoys to various lottery outlets all over. People from all walks of life flocked to try their luck for the windfall (which is, 1 in 28 million). in the end, the 741.1 million-peso pot money was won by a New York-based balikbayan.

2 - Who would forget the August 23 Manila hostage crisis? Nine innocent tourists were wasted due to a botched attempt of the Manila Police District. I am keeping my mouth shut.


1 – And instead of PNoy’s administration that should be frequently looked into, strange enough, his love life was always brought in the limelight. The bachelor’s affairs were always highlighted whether it’s with Liz Uy, Shalani Soledad, Korina, Barbara Milano, Bernadette Sembrano and 14 others girls. Let’s see who will be the new girls in the stellar president’s love life this year.

Credits:
Noynoy's picture from http://pinoysgottalent.com/blog/benigno-%E2%80%9Cnoynoy%E2%80%9D-aquino-iii/