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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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DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY – For the first time since the college’s foundation some fifty years ago, the Mindanao State University joins the highly-anticipated national televised debates of the ABS-CBN News Channel last October 7. The MSU debaters that fought against the joint force of DLSU-FEU team using the Oxford-Oregon format were JR Lopez Gonzales and Abdul Raffy Tomawis.

Taking the Affirmative Side with the motion: “Amendment of the Constitution through both houses of Congress voting separately and through a bilateral committee is unconstitutional”, the MSU debaters fiercely stood their ground in upholding and keeping the statusquo.

First Speaker Abdul Raffy Tomawis started the debate presenting the overall stand of the Government Side. The DLSU-FEU team countered saying that the law is silent and does not prohibit Drilon’s interpretation. JR Lopez Gonzales, the 2nd Speaker from MSU raised the issue that the bilateral committee’s composition is “statistically improbable” in meeting the required “¾ of all the members of the Congress”. To hit the final blows, the Rebuttal Speaker refuted the arguments of the opposition banking on the framer’s real intent on the provision’s construction. The debate was further heated up due to the 2-minute interpellations done between teams.

COL professorial lecturers believe that arguments-wise, the win should’ve been awarded to the MSU team. Some even questioned the judge line-up saying that it should have been lawmakers and practicing lawyers that should adjudicate as what is called for by the motion.

Despite the team falling short of the win against the DLSU-FEU team, the MSU studentry and faculty congratulated the debaters for their great performance.
by Glenice Joy Jornales*

The MU Kappa Phi National Exclusive Law Fraternity and Sorority (MKP) once again successfully held its annual law school orientation seminar entitled “Slaying the Dragon: Surviving Law School” last July  20, 2011 at MSU-IIT Mini-Theatre.

College of Law freshmen and sophomores enjoyed the educational and enlightening talks from esteemed lawyers such as Atty. Rejoice Subejano (MIDA Director), Atty. Saidali Gandamra (City Peace Council for Muslims) and her daughter Atty. Khanini Gandamra, Atty. Norjaypha Bacaraman (Public Attorney’s Office) and Atty. Jam Bazar, a professor from MSU-Marawi College of Law. MSU-College of Law Iligan Extension Assistant Dean Atty. Alizedney Ditucalan was also one of the speakers for the said event.

New bar passer Atty. Junella Limpangog, now an associate lawyer in Padilla Law Office also attended the said seminar and she talked about her experiences in the legal profession.
The other topics for the said seminar included How to Survive in Law School, FYI:MCQ and tips, strategies in legal writing and a lot more. 

MKP is a national law fraternity and sorority organization which is involved not only in law school activities but was also engaged in various community development programs and events. Some of these events included charity works for the children in Bantay Bata, feeding program for school children in Upper Hinaplanon, inter-frat bowling tournament and more. They also organized a bloodletting activity during MKP anniversary earlier this year. It was also projected that MKP will be doing more of these activities once again next year.

*Editor’s Note: This article was written by Glenice Joy Jornales for The Nexus, the official magazine of the Mindanao State University College of Law - Iligan Extension Volume 13, Issue No. 2 with me, JR Lopez Gonzales as the Editor-in-Chief.

Picture Credit:
by Moumina Sheryne Domadalug*

Last November 12, in line with the 65th Anniversary Celebration of the Glorious House of Beta Sigma Lambda, Inc. (BSL) and the 2nd Anniversary of its MSU Iligan Chapter, a mangrove planting activity and a Mini-lecture on “Writ of Kalikasan” was held at Bayug Island, Barangay Hinaplanon, Iligan City.

The DENR-PAWCS Chief Benjie Jumawan first lectured on the Mangrove Rehabilitation Project and its importance to the local people living along coastal areas such as Bayug Island. One hundred fifty (150) Mangrove propagules were planted initiated by dedicated BSL members after which the Mini-Lecture was conducted. The Most Illustrious Sister and 5th Year law student Samaira C. Maba delivered the seminar in the Visayan vernacular so that the local people will have a better grasp re the salient of points of the innovative Writ of Kalikasan.

“As law students, we should not confine ourselves to in-house fraternity activities only. We have to give back to the community using our knowledge in law and whatever resources we have. Hopefully, BSL will come back with a thousand more propagules and a more extensive lecture—this time, to a larger audience.”, says Most Illustrious Brother Jalanie A. Puno.

The activity was in cooperation with the DENR through the assistance of Benjie C. Jumawan, Chief PAWCS, Barangay Hinaplanon Chairman Veronico Echavez, Councilor Rio M. Gonzaga, Mr. Erlito Echavez and the Hinaplanon local government unit.

It must also be remembered that aside from community works, BSL also conducted  “The Brasstacks: The Journey: Crossroads of Becoming a Lawyer”, a bar exam seminar at the Nursing Conference Hall last July 10 at MSU-IIT.

*Editor’s Note: This article was written by Moumina Sheryne Domadalug for The Nexus, the official magazine of the Mindanao State University College of Law - Iligan Extension Volume 13, Issue No. 2 with me, JR Lopez Gonzales as the Editor-in-Chief.

Picture Credits:
Si Kaka Mia's FB Photo Album.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo or... Naruto?
by Shannevie Krista Villarta*

Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) has recently become headline in every news in the Philippines. Having been included in the immigration watch list upon order of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Mrs. Arroyo pleaded for a TRO before the Supreme Court to lift her ban to travel abroad for her medical treatment there.

On the very day the Supreme Court lifted the travel ban order, Mrs. Arroyo with her different scheduled departure tried to leave the country. DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima, however, insisted that she hasn’t received a copy of the TRO and that she instructed the Immigration officials as they were under her direct orders to prevent the Arroyos (GMA and her husband) from leaving the country. The Supreme Court (SC) ruling said that the TRO was immediately executory, and any attempt to block it will result in contempt. But Sec. De Lima was firm in her resolve that even if she receives a copy of the TRO, the DOJ is still entitled to file a motion for reconsideration (MR). She also said her action does not constitute contempt since she merely used a legal remedy which is the filing of an MR, especially since the justices of the SC were not unanimous in the issuance of the TRO (a vote of 8-5).

Upon the other hand, the highly regarded opinion of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was expressed in her interview-reaction regarding the said issue. She opined that the issue was focused more on its political aspect forgetting the fact that GMA’s right to travel is one of a constitutional issue, plain and simple. According to her, as a general rule, a person has a right to travel. Exception is in three cases, but we don’t know what these cases are because Congress has never defined what is national security, public safety, and public health. Only the Congress, and even the Supreme Court, can tell us what these three exceptions are.

In the language of the Constitution, national interest, for which ground GMA’s right to travel is being barred upon hinges on, is not a part of the exception. That is why for her, the SC ruling is correct.

*Editor’s Note: This article was written by Shannevie Krista Villarta for The Nexus, the official magazine of the Mindanao State University College of Law - Iligan Extension Volume 13, Issue No. 2 with me as the Editor-in-Chief.

Picture Credit:
Taking one's own life is reflected in ilustrado times. Simoun, one of Rizal’s characters in El Filibusterismo committed suicide perhaps in order to escape being tortured by his enemies, or out of desperation and despondency. Earlier in the novel, Juli likewise committed suicide to escape the amorous advances of the randy Padre Camorra.

In the novel, Rizal simply stated that Basilio learned that Maria Clara had died before noontime and he told Simoun about it. On the box-office hit Jose Rizal directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Rizal’s sweetheart’s death was interpreted as suicide also by jumping off the church window like what Juli did.

Suicide, the process of purposely ending one’s own life, was always viewed negatively in most culture. Rizal was even candid in reflecting this as an occurrence in the Spanish times less than two centuries ago. It may vary to some culture but nevertheless, major religions and culture are against this practice.

Right now, the suicide of Vina Marie del Rosario from Iloilo is highlighted on the headlines as this graduating nursing student seem not able to take life's challenges anymore thus jumping off from the mall's third storey. Exactly two years ago, a senior AB Sociology student at MSU-IIT ended his life through hanging. The said reasons were failed lovelife and grades. That made him guy number 5, in the unusually long string of MSU-IITians ending their lives while still in their pursuit of a college degree in the year 2009. A few months back, a freshman here took his life by jumping off the overpass just in front of the campus. While it may be true that almost each year a student here commits suicide, this year’s case with 5 deaths sets the record for most suicide deaths.
I think I know why the Devil is happy.
I have to concede that this has also been the case in other universities, too. But suicides do not generally mean that people really want to die. It only means that they have more pain than they can cope with as of the moment. The heavy weights piling on their shoulder made it hard for them. The humorous Bollywood movie, “3 Idiots” has even depicted a guy who hanged himself upon learning that he can’t make it to the graduates’ roll because of a failed project.

Unknown to many, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide with millions of people doing it. Statistics show that 10 million to 20 million attempts it annually. Even in the Philippines with a low suicide rank of 89 in the world, the devastation it creates makes it a very concerning public-health issue.

In the study of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the past 17 years in the country, there were 848 suicides with nearly 60% done by males. Sifting through the pages of a sociology book, I’ve learned that while it is true that more males kill themselves, women are far more likely than men to try and commit suicide. Men succeed more often for women usually choose poison, cutting wrists, or other “gentler” methods that don’t always work, or that work slowly, while men are more likely to use a gun or some other quick, violent method.

Eventhough we Filipinos pride ourselves being the 14th happiest country in the world two years ago; the presence of 2.5 suicides in every 100,000 is still upsetting. The statistics on suicide in the Philippines, I believe, may not be accurate. Most of the time, the suicide is not reported due to stigma. Our society is very good at sweeping truth under the carpet in the name of family honor.

Asians, in general account to 60% of all the suicide deaths in the world. Two of the countries with relatively huge suicide rates are Japan and South Korea. It can be observed that these countries have a very high level of competition that starts right from childhood. The Oriental culture seems to have this embedded in itself.

Emile Durkheim, the French sociologist, argued that either excessive or deficient levels of integration and regulation lead to four "ideal types" of suicide. First is the egoistic type which is the result of too little social integration. Second type is altruistic; the consequence of excessive integration, such as deaths of a Kamikaze pilot, ohka (human plane bombs), hara-kiri, or kaiten (human torpedoes). Thirdly, anomic type arises due to too little regulation or the shattering of ties with the society (e.g. divorce or unemployment). And the most common is the fatalistic type where there is an excessive regulation coupled with high individual needs to control one’s environment (this is where college students qualify because of failure to pass a decisive exam).

With this issue split open, this entry would look into some basic facts on this public-health matter. In its simplest sense, it is when pain exceeds pain-coping resources, suicidal feelings are the result. People feel like doing it to escape from a situation that seemed impossible to deal with. They feel there is no other solution; no hope left. Other reasons could either be financial or personal (relationship problem, low self-esteem, etc.) or due to a mood disorder. But generally, they have depression.

Depression is a brain disorder that affects your thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior and physical health. Experts believe depression may be caused by imbalances in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Imbalances in three neurotransmitters – serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine – seem to be linked to depression. Neurotransmitters also seem to help regulate the secretion of hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, melatonin and endorphins, which are also thought to affect mood and emotion. But again, the exact biological mechanism is not known. And whether changes in hormone levels are a cause or an effect of depression is unclear.

There are four main types of depression according to Mayo Clinic Health Letter (1998). Major depression is a disorder characterized by a mood disturbance lasting more than two weeks. Symptoms include overwhelming feelings of sadness and grief and loss of interest or pleasure in activities you usually enjoy. If not treated, an average episode of major depression lasts from six to 18 months. Apparently, the risk of suicide increases drastically when the depression is not treated.

Dysthymia is a less severe but more continuous form of depression. It lasts for at least two years and often more than five years. Symptoms are not disabling, and periods of dysthymia can alternate with short periods of feeling normal.

Some people with depression have recurrent cycles of depression and mania (or elation). This is called a bipolar disorder where it involves emotions of both extremes, or poles. This disorder also called as manic-depressive, affects judgment and can cause problems, such as spending money recklessly or making unwise decisions. Some people have bursts of increased creativity and productivity during manic phase.

Finally, reduced sunlight cause depression what scientists call as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). No kidding. Reduced levels of sunlight may increase the level of melatonin which controls the mood in the brain. That’s the reason why more people take their own lives during winters or cold rainy nights.

How then, can we diagnose and eventually prevent suicide? In its most basic sense, one must first find a way to reduce the pain. And secondly, find a way to increase the coping resources. Still according to Mayo Clinic Health Letter (1998), to diagnose depression, the doctor may perform physical exam which includes tests to rule out conditions that can cause depression-mimicking symptoms. If the doctor sees signs, he would then refer one to a psychiatrist.

The two hallmarks of depression are; 1) Loss of interest in normal daily activities (anhedonia) and (2) Depressed mood. In addition, for a doctor to diagnose depression most of these signs and symptoms must also be present most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks: sleep disturbances, significant weight loss or gain, agitations or slowing of body movements, fatigue, low self-esteem, thoughts of death, impaired thinking or concentration, and loss of libido.

If you think you have depression, steps can be made to overcome thoughts of ending one’s life. Seeing doctor regularly is a must. Medications can be taken as advised by the physician. Participate in normal activities and don’t ever become isolated. Taking care of oneself through diet and exercise can reduce risk of depression and finally, avoid abuse of alcohol and recreational drugs.

While we often hear people saying that “This country makes me crazy!”, I still do believe it’s one lame reason for ending one’s life. Life in general was made to serve as a challenging puzzle. In the words of my ever-favorite comedian George Carlin: “The whole essence of life is not dying”. I know you're well aware that we're overpopulated but please don't kill yourself... and don't even think about doing it.

Picture Credits:
Video capture from Word of the Lourd.
Suicide picture from
Certain warning signs may indicate serious depression and the possibility of suicide. To prevent things from worsening, take any threat of suicide seriously, even if the person is already being treated for depression.

If you see any of these danger signs, call a doctor, mental health clinic or suicide hotline immediately:

10 – A sudden brightening of mood after a period of being depressed.

9 – Delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices.

8 – Actions or threats of assault, physical harm or violence.

7 – Unusually risky behavior, such as buying or handling a gun or driving recklessly.

6 – Threats or talk of death or suicide, such as “I don’t care anymore”, or “You won’t need to worry about me much longer”.

5 – Putting affairs in order, such as saying goodbye to friends, giving away prized possessions or writing a will.

4 – Pacing agitated behavior, frequent mood changes and sleeplessness for several nights.

3 – Withdrawal from relationships.

2 – Strong desire to be alone such as refusing to go to school or participate in group activities.

1 – Feeling of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness that usually have crying sessions.

Picture Credits:
Suicide image taken from
"Optimist Prime and Negatron" and "Mara Clara Crying Kid" from Facebook.
It is but a common knowledge that Facebook is a modern-day "social gamechanger" in the cyberspace.

Aside from Facebook's chatting feature that is non-existent in the then-famous Friendster, one can post his or her thoughts on the "Facebook Wall". Being a Facebook member since 2007, I've posted hundreds of Wall Posts that is seen by my Facebook friends.

I've made it a point not to post personal stuffs (like what I ate, what are my whereabout, and what-nots) and decided to post mind-tickling jokes, notions, doubts, opinions, satirical statements, beliefs, assertions, assumptions, mockeries, sarcasm, silliness, and other forms of bluster.

Majority of my posts were written in Filipino (the national language of the Philippines) on the hopes of better intelligibility among the majority of my Filipino-speaking Facebook friends.

For the benefit of my blog readers who don't have the luxury of checking out my Facebook posts, I've compiled my monthly posts, these were my posts for the month of November last year. I hope that you'll enjoy the hodge-podge of these ideas and I urge you to share your comment about the posts since one can't click "Like" here.

August 9

Ang pinakamura, pinakaepektibo, at pinakamadaling paraan ng PAMPAGANDA ay ang... pagpapaganda ng kalooban. Huwag nang mangamba dahil siguradong may mahuhumaling sa iyo.

Minsan kakatuwa ang karamihan sa mga magulang: Halos IKAHIYA, IPAGTABUYAN, at HINDI KILALANIN ang mga anak kapag nakagawa ng matinding kasalanan at pagkakamali. Sa parehong extreme na level, napakaPROUD naman nila kapag nakagawa at nakapagkamit ng gantimpala ang mga anak...

Sino sa kanila ang mas dakila? Ang matalinong nagpakabobo o ang bobong nagkunwaring matalino?

August 7

Minsan sa mga bagay-bagay, 'di na kailangan pa ng KATALINUHAN. Common sense lang, pwede na.

Hindi ba't nakakailang kapag nabahing ka nang dahil sa sarili mong amoy? Ang galing ng katawan ng tao; kahit 'di ka minsan conscious ay gumagawa ito ng paraan para ipaalam sa iyo na kailangan mo nang maligo.

Kapag nagkamali ang isang tao at inako niya ito, minsan mas mainam na huwag nang sirain pa ang katapatan nito sa pagdadagdag pa ng isang pagpapaliwanag.

Pagod na akong makinig sa mga taong palaging nagsasabi na "I'm Proud to be Pinoy","I'm Proud to be from Andres Fields Elementary School","I'm Proud to be BanggIITan", atbp. Hanggang PRIDE na nga lang ba tayo? Ako? Happy na ako na naisilang ako at napabilang sa sangkatauhan; other than that ang tanong dapat natin ay: Ano ang NAGAWA ko bilang Isang PINOY, bilang graduate ng ANDRES FIELDS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, bilang BANGGIITAN? May naitulong ba ako sa kanila o nakikisakay na lang ako sa pride na ito?

Magbiro ka sa lasing wag lang sa bagong gising... na lasing.

Ano kaya ang makikita sa salamin kapag ito ay nakaharap sa kapwa niya salamin?

Kung ang kaliwa at kanan na mga tsinelas ay palaging "unahan nang unahan" ayon sa bugtong, sino kaya ang nananalo sa kanilang karera?

Kung lahat ng PROBLEMA ay may SOLUSYON; bakit marami sa atin ang nahihirapang solusyunan ang attitude 'problem'?

Sa maraming paraan hindi nagiging epektibo ang mga salita sa pagpapahayag ng tunay na damdamin at layunin ng isang tao.

Tipid tip sa mga taong pagod nang magmake-up: Wear a "customized" mask. Kung gusto mo ng instant beautiful kilay with lipstick na face, oh, suotin mo lang, at voila! Tipid talaga sa foundation, sa powder at iba pa, reusable pa.

Ano kaya ang mangyayari sa tao kapag hindi niya pwedeng kamutin ang isang makating-makati na parte ng kanyang katawan?

If you're happy and you know it... you DON'T need to clap your hands.

August 5

Christopher Lao "should have been informed"... that there was a flood.

August 4

A twist in one of my previous posts:

NOON: Hindi lahat ng lalake ay gwapo.
NGAYON: Hindi lahat ng GWAPO ay LALAKE.

Likas sa tao ang pagiging palpak sa buhay. 'Di normal kapag palagi ka na lang tama sa iyong mga desisyon, gawain at pag-iisip. Ang mas importante ay ang pagbangon mo sa pagkakadapa. Ang pagbabago ng mga maling nagawa upang makapag-umpisa muli sa paghahangad na hindi na maulit pa ang pagkakalugmok. Nang sa bandang huli, kapag naaalala mo ay masasabi mo sa iyong sarili: "Wow. Nakayanan ko pala ang lahat ng 'yon!".

English translation of "Nasa sapà lang" = JUST IN River.

August 3

Lubha ngang ilusyonado ang sangkatauhan sa paghahangad na makabalik sa nakaraan. Pilit binabalikan; pilit inaalala; mahirap malimutan. Nguni't ang totoo, kailanman ang mga nangyari na ay hindi na maibabalik pa. Bagama't 'di mali ang pagsasariwa ng mga alaala. Hinding-hindi maikakailang mas importante ang bagong umagang darating. Isang pag-asa at oportunidad na makalikha ng bagong mga alaalang MAS HIHIGIT PA sa nakaraan. - JLG

May mga taong taos-pusong naghahangad ng kasagutan kung kaya't nagtatanong; ang iba? Nagkukunwaring nagtatanong pero ang totoo'y nagpapasikat lamang pala.

Sa palagay ko, ang isa sa pinakaepektibo na paraan ng pag-aaral mabuti ay ang paghinto sa pagbasa ng mga posts na kagaya nito at paghinto ng pag-FACEBOOK.

Kailanman 'di natin malalaman ang tungkol sa lahat ng bagay, pero pwede tayong MAG-ISIP na alam natin ang lahat ng bagay.

Ang mananahi ay nagwalis. Translation: TAILOR SWEEP.

Come to think of it, hindi dapat HOMELESS ang mga tawag sa mga taong walang bahay. Dapat "houseless".

Computer Talk: Minsan nagtaka ako, kapag ide-delete ba natin ang RECYCLE BIN, makikita mo pa rin ba ito sa RECYCLE BIN?

Ang mga katagang walang mintis sa pagpapangiti at nakapagpapasaya ng mga estudyante: WALANG PASOK!

Sexist Language: "Tunay na Lalake". 'Di ba medyo biased ito? Ibig sabihin lang ba nito, ang mga lalake lang ang marunong tumupad sa usapan? At bakit 'di tayo nagsasabi ng: "Ang galing-galing mo. May prinsipyo ka. Talagang TUNAY KA NA BABAE"?

Ang bawat araw na dumarating sa isang tao ay isa nang HIMALA.

Kung hindi mo maintindihan ang PANANAHIMIK ng isang tao, paano pa kaya kung magsalita na siya?

August 2

FACEBOOK Talk: Bakit nga ba tayo nagsusulat at nagpapahayag ng damdamin sa Facebook WALL? Sulat tayo nang sulat, type nang type ng kahit na ano. Eh 'di ba, bawal ang magsulat sa WALL? Vandalism 'yon.

August 1

Sino'ng mas magaling kay CAPTAIN America? Eh 'di si GENERAL America.

Kung si Spider-Man ay may web-slinging skills, si Superman naman ay flight, superstrength, X-ray Vision at superspeed, ang kay CAPTAIN AMERICA naman ay... "Never Giving Up".

Ang pinagmulan ng lahat ng SUNOG ay... apoy.

Picture Credits:
Pictures were video captures from The Godfather Part 2, NigaHiga, Glee, and Facebook.

MGM Grand, Las Vegas – The 'People's Champ' Manny Pacquiao retains his WBO Welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez in the third installment of their epic trilogy, “Unfinished Business” going down to the judges' decision: 14-14, 15-13, and 16-12 in favor of the Filipino slugger.

It is remembered that their first meeting ended up in a controversial draw in 2004, while the second ended in a split decision in 2008. The eight-time world division champion and reigning pound-for-pound king defeated Marquez by a majority decision that finally ended their trilogy.
Manny Pacquiao failed to unload his flurry of bombs like this during the match.
The two warriors felt out each other's strength and speed. At the fourth round, Pacquiao unleashed his flurries of combinations but was not enough to bring the Mexican down to the canvas.

As the match progressed, it is but obvious that Marquez got the better end of Pacquiao by perfectly timing his counter-punches on the Filipino's one-two combinations. Pacquiao, most of the time, brings the fight to Marquez by directing its aggression and lunging towards the other in the rounds 6, 7, and 8.

Marquez proved to be the better ring tactician by perfectly timing his right cross on Pacquiao's left chin. Pacquiao failed to bring his A-Game of throwing bushels of punches due to Marquez's deadly sneaking punches everytime Pacquiao's guards are down till the end of twelve rounds.

This match proved to be another controversial match, this time around due to the fact that "Dinamita" Marquez dominated and seemed to have clearer shots on Manny's face filling it with welts, a cut in the right eyebrow and a busted lip.

Just after the last bell sounded, it is seemed apparent on Manny's reaction that he himself was not satisfied with his performance. Manny was unable to display his flurry of punches against the nimbler Marquez.

The ringing reaction of dismay because of the decision can be felt inside the stadium filled mostly with Mexican boxing fans. There was a loud echo of displeasure about the fight's result where people booed at Pacquiao when interviewed by HBO's Max Kellerman moments after the fight.

Marquez looked like the better fighter on the ring. Most boxing fans were bewildered and left to ask on how it was scored and why the win for the Filipino pugilist. Most analyst speculated that at the start of these kinds of matches, the champion already has an edge and that Marquez has to put up an "ultra-stellar" performance to beat the eight-division world champion. Another point raised is due to Marquez's inability to engage with the fight as he would simply wait for the attacks of Pacquiao for his signature counter-punches.

The statistics after the fight would help us tell how and why the win was given to the Filipino fighter: Pacquiao has thrown 578 punces connecting 176 while Marquez had 436 with 138 punches connecting. On jabs, Pac-Man threw 304 with 59 connecting compared to Marquez's 182 with 38 connecting shots. And lastly, on powerpunches, Pac had 274 with 117 connecting as to that of the Mexican's 254 with 100 connecting.

But whatever the speculations on Pacquiao's win are, what is apparent is that both fighters stood up to their class. Basing on reactions in Las Vegas and the world, it still seemed the people want a fourth fight between the Filipino and the Mexican just to clear the cloud of doubt on this controversial win.

Picture Credits:
The ‘People’s Champ’ Manny Pacquiao surely outshone other boxers in the field of world boxing but does this also hold true in politics?

Manny’s political exploits obviously show us his political intentions. In 2007, he ran for congressman in his hometown South Cotabato but initially lost. Three years later, he ran for the same post in the neighboring province of Sarangani in 2010, where he finally defeated businessman Roy Chiongbian. It seems he’s become unstoppable in boxing as with politics. His recent statement in Mexican television left most people, critics and admirers alike, to raise their eyebrows: Pacquiao “plans to run for Vice President in 2016 elections”.
Indeed, one’s popularity has become a key to success in the Philippine political arena. This was demonstrated repeatedly by several actor-politicians, among them was former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. No one however, is above the law, even to the most famous Filipino boxer known to the littlest of children; he is not exempted from the constitutional age requirement.
Article VII, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution states that “There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the President.” And by the phrase “same qualifications” as the President, the framers of the Constitution meant that the person to vying for the vice-presidency “must be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least 40 years old on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years immediately preceding the election”.

Pacquiao would have been eligible to the Vice-presidency were it not for the fourth qualification, i.e., the “at least 40 years old on the day of the election”, because on that day, he will only be 37 years old as he was born on December 17, 1978.

Baka naman nagbibiro lang siya. He can't run for either vice-president or president by 2016”, said Commission on Elections Chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. in a phone interview with GMA News.

What's next for Pacquiao after Congress?
Is the possibility of him becoming President a distant  reality?
No one, however, exactly knows how certain events may shape future political landscape. While Manny Pacquiao clearly signifies the political path he wishes to tread, what is left for us is simply to wait and see.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Shannevie Krista Villarta for The Nexus, the official magazine of the Mindanao State University College of Law - Iligan Extension Volume 13, Issue No. 2 with me as the Editor-in-Chief.

Picture credits:
Pacquiao's picture in Congress courtesy of Reuter's Eric de Castro.
International travel has increased largely since the 1960s. And for a country like the Philippines blessed with beautiful sceneries, tourism greatly helps the economy. A few weeks back though, the statement of US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas regarding sex tourism in the Philippines sure made some uproar in the media.
Ambassador Harry Thomas: “40 % of the all the male tourists comes to the Philippines for sex”.
Ofcourse, like a knee-jerk reaction, the new Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez was quick to point out that the statement is false. On the other hand, Abigail Valte, the Malacañang Spokeswoman, said in a press interview that shopping and sightseeing is the key reason for tourism influx. Is it? I simply find the renouncements pathetic.

A few days after his statement, Ambassador Thomas apologized already thru text to the country’s foreign secretary Albert del Rosario last September. That he was not able to back his statement up with proof. Well, Thomas’ way of apologizing shows some class for a diplomat.
Sex tourism refers to the travel to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes.

Some quick definitions first. “Sex Tourism” refers to the travel to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes. The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines sex tourism as “trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination” [1].

            The denial made by Malacañang and the Department of Tourism is understandable. But it is important to look at the truth before most of us criticize the US Ambassador for the said statement. We should not let our emotions overwhelm our rationality on analyzing the truth behind such statements categorized by many as “offensive”.

Oh, come on. Nothing is wrong with "tourism" per se.
Arguing against the repudiations of the government, Senate Committee Chair on Women and Youth Pia Cayetano asks on "How exactly would Malacañang know if a tourist was coming to the Philippines for sex? Did he [the tourist] check the box on his Visa application indicating so?"

According to her, there were 800,000 prostitutes in the Philippines [2], half of them are minors. In a study be the Psychological Trauma Program of the University of the Philippines, it notes that prostitution may now be the fourth largest source of GNP.

            I see no point in contesting for the validity of the Ambassador’s statement. Whether his 40% number is too high or low is really beside the point - the point being that sex tourism in the Philippines is growing at an alarmingly level.

            In 2009, 5 million people visit each year to go to Philippine hotspots like Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan. With this comes human trafficking and child prostitution [3]. In the facts released by Dolores Alforte of End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism, to an interview by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she said that “60 to 100,000 child prostitutes with the average age of 15 years old” [4].
AIDS: Too Much Love Will Kill You

            While the disadvantages of prostitution are evident; let us consider these hard facts by International Labor Organization [5]:

  • Surveys of women working as masseuses indicated that 34 % of them explained their choice of work as necessary to support poor parents, 8 % to support siblings and 28 % to support husbands or boyfriends.
  • More than 20 % said the job was well paid, but only 2 % said it was easy work and only 2 % claimed to enjoy the work.
  • Over a third reported that they had been subject to violence or harassment, most commonly from the police, but also from city officials and gangsters.
  • Over 50 % of the women surveyed in Philippine massage parlors said they carried out their work “with a heavy heart,” and 20 % said they were “conscience-stricken because they still considered sex with customers a sin".
  • Philippine bar girls revealed that more than half of them felt “nothing” when they had sex with a client, the remainder said the transactions saddened them.
  • The ILO survey also revealed that in the experience of most of the women surveyed, prostitution is one of the most alienating forms of labor.
Even with the introduction of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2003 [6], there has only been a handful of prosecution of sex traffickers. These poor children are controlled by foreign or local syndicates and were forced to work in secret places. Some parents even act as pimps as what is portrayed in the opening scenes of the independent movie “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank”, converting their children to dollar-making machines. Due to bribery, foreigners operating in the Philippines leave scot-free.

Malacañang’s extreme denial is one of the cultural culprits for the prevalence of such problems. People tend to turn a blind eye and refuse to acknowledge that some children are exploited. No one can deny that the Philippines is known all over the world for this kind of activity. It is the truth. We’re even next to Thailand as the top sex destination in Southeast Asia [7].

It is thus clear that a composite many of programs is needed. We have to look into the basic welfare and psychological support in the short term and education awareness-raising, legal support, and advocacy for long term change.

Only after such reflection and action, we can refute the negative statements made by others about our people.

[4] Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series the Lens episode "Selling Sex in Heaven" (2005), set in the Philippines.