Friday, November 30, 2007

Sonny and the Magdalos just don't get it

No matter how sinful or evil a person is, society should still not disregard the rule of law to catch him. If it does, then society is no better than that bad guy. Let me repost an excerpt from the play A Man For All Seasons, where St. Thomas More explained this concept better than me:

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Sonny, Lim, Teofisto, Robert, Bibeth and the Magdalo soldiers and symphatizers did just what William Roper wanted to do--mow down the laws of the Republic to bring down the Arroyo regime.

You don't do that, man, especially if there's no justifiable reason for it.

Atty. Argee Guevara said they weren't breaking any laws with the Peninsula seige. Are you kidding me? thats usurpation of real rights; sedition; assault; libel; slander; threats; coercion; the list could go on and on.

Tama ba yun? na mag-walk out ka sa hearing mo? Lakarin ang buong stretch ng Makati Ave. at salakayin ang isang 5-star hotel?

Thanks very much, Sonny, and you and your cohorts just sabotaged our economy once again!

Salamat, at lahat ng employees ng Peninsula walang trabaho ngayon!

Salamat, at baka parang Oakwood, ibenta ng Peninsula ang hotel nila sa Makati!

Salamat, at imbes na umakyat pa ang ekonomiya, eh bumaba pa ito!

The Magdalos should rename their group to Manggugulo.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ano akala niyo sa akin, timang?!

The Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines, or PBMLP, scheduled its annual National Convention from last Monday and ending today, Wednesday.

It was the first time for me to attend such an event, and let me tell you this, I was dissappointed. Registration was a mess. Our 'kits' comprised of a black bag, an ID, and a certificate of insurance. The most important detail, THE PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES, was missing. Anong schedule namin?!

True enough, wala kaming ginawang substantial on the first day. Disorganized sila.

I've seen better conventions organized by college and high school students.

Tuesday was a little different. There was still chaos, but atleast may activity naman. We had a talk on Human Rights and Justice. The speakers were Commissioner Cueto of the CHR and Senator Escudero. Cueto was boring, but I think we owed him the attention. NO ONE WAS LISTENING!!! At nung si Escudero naman nagsalita, nagtitilian yung mga babaeng bokal. Anyhoo, this was the first time for me to listen to Chiz live, and I must say he is very engaging. Galing ng tagalog niya.

After those talks, I attended the one on Health. The topic was on the Reproductive Health bill by Congresswoman Janette Garin. It was very interesting. Ang sad lang na konti lang umattend. Most of the bokals were outside smoking and having coffee.

The culminating activity of the convention, apparent to me, was the election of officers. Nevermind, the exchange of best practices, who cares about that. To the bokals, what matters most is the elections.

And I was really dissappointed with how it went. Could you imagine, the candidates were taking me for a fool? They had tarpaulins all over the hotel. They were distributing flyers, ballpens, calendars, calling cards and other campaign paraphernalia. The posters had their picture, name and bio-data. BUT NO PROGRAM OF GOVERNMENT! NO PLATFORM WHATSOEVER.

How could I make an intelligent choice, especially this was the first time I met them face to face.

I'll base my judgment on looks and background? eh pare-pareho naman kaming mga bokal ah.


I felt so insulted!!!

Ano ako, uneducated voter?!

3 were running for president and during their 3-minute campaign speech all they could think of was to have a service vehicle?!

Service vehicle?!

How about creating or updating the PBMLP website so that we could have a place to exchange ideas and tap each others database? I was looking for that kind of program, pero wala silang binigay.

Sigaw na lang sila ng pangalan nila at posisyon.

Ano to, election ng barangay?

This is the election of officers of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines! I expected more.

So who did I vote? of the 3 candidates for President, I didn't vote for any of them. Binoto ko si "-------------".

As for the other positions, I only voted those who took the time to talk to me and introduced themselves.

I'm seriously considering not attending next year's convention. waste of money and time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Close, but no cigar

It was this time last year, when I was feeling depressed working in a law firm, that I started applying for my LLM (Master of Laws) studies abroad. I did the TOEFL thing, went to my profs for Referee Letters or Letter of Recommendation, and all the other application requirements. Laki-laki pa ng ginastos ko sa pag-FedEx ng applications ko.

Of the 4 universities that i applied to, I got accepted to 3. I was admitted in the University College London in the United Kingdom, and Leiden University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Sadly, I didn't make it to the only American law school I applied to, the University of Michigan. Still, 3 out of 4 ain't bad, right? Moreover, UCL is the 3rd best school in England and is in the top 20 in the world rankings.

I then applied for scholarships. Surprisingly, I was granted a 50% scholarship in Leiden. Okay yun ah. so far, so good, I told myself. Pero, malaki pa rin yung other half. Eh yun lang yung pinakamalaking grant meron sa Netherlands. So I shifted my focus sa England.

I tried my luck sa British Chevening Scholarship kasi full scholarship yun, complete with lodging, plane fare and stipend. My grades weren't that impressive, pero what the heck, fight! So nagrequest nanaman ako ng Referee Letters. Nagsubmit ako sa British Embassy, and hoped for the best.

Alam kong, mahirap makapasok, so all i wished fro was to be interviewed.

That wish came true when the embassy officer phoned me to schedule an interview. Wow, na-shortlist ako!

Pinagaralan ko ang England at UCL sa wikipedia. I really tried to prepare for the interview. the day came and I did my best to try to impress the panel.

Bahala na si batman. Pero sa loob-loob ko, sana mapili ako.

Today, I received a letter from the British Embassy informing me that I didn't get selected.


Oh, well.

Close, but no cigar.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PopLaw Seminar in Ilocos

Today was the first day of the Barangay Law Seminar for Neophyte Barangay Chairs here in Ilocos Norte, conducted by the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the U.P. Law Center under its POPLAW Program.

Although the newly elected community leaders take their oaths on November 30 and therefore will hold office on December 1, I thought it best that they'd be informed, as early as possible, their duties as Barangay Chairmen. I have always been an advocate of continuing legal education, and Barangay Heads should be no exception. In fact, they should always be informed and updated since most of our new laws give them new duties and responsibilities.

Mabuti at my POPLAW Program ang UP. I learned about this when I visited my prof in law school, ma'am Rowie, sa Law Center. She was having merienda with Profs. Labitag and Sison and they told me to invite them to lecture in Ilocos.

So, I invited them and we pushed through with this project.

When we made a headcount, we only expected 150 neophyte barangay heads. This morning when I went to the Provincial Auditorium, which could accomodate a maximum of 200 persons, I was so surprised to see it full. 350 Barangay Chairmen came! They came from all over the province. Even those who were on their 2nd or 3rd terms came! Because the seminar was to be conducted by UP law profs.

Overwhelming yung attendance. And here I was thinking konti lang ang pupunta (as of Monday 130 lang ang nag-confirm). Akala ko mapapahiya ako sa profs ko at kay Gov. Keon.

Siksik, liglig at umaapaw!

Anyhow, nakinig naman yung mga kapitan. Interesting yung talk ni Prof DannyCon on Succession. tapos Property Law by Prof Labitag. Then Criminal Law by Dean Carale.

In the late afternoon, lecture naman on Sangguniang Kabataan Law for newly elected SK Chairs.

Maraming salamat, UP Law Center and POPLAW Program!
Maraming salamat sa mga dumalo!

Sa uulitin!

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Zoom I.N." Photo Contest

Rules and Mechanics:
1. Theme: Photos must promote Ilocos Norte tourism by depicting any of the province’s tourist spots, or by featuring an activity unique to Ilocanos.
2. Eligibility. All photographers, professional or amateur, ages 15 and above, and residents of Ilocos Norte are eligible (Photographers under 18 must obtain parental consent). A maximum of five (5) entries per photographer will be allowed.
3. Camera Type. Any camera type, digital or film, is allowed to be used for the contest.
4. Contest Period. The Contest will run from November 1, 2007 to December 15, 2007 at 5:00 p.m. Photo exhibit will be from December 17-28, 2007 at the Provincial Capitol Lobby. Awarding of winners will be on December 21, 2007.
5. Submission of Entries:
a. Digital files: JPG format with a minimum width of 1024 pixels and a maximum height of 768 pixels (72 dpi). Digital files must be in CD.
b. Film entries should be submitted together with the negative.
c. Strictly no Photoshop (or any other software) manipulation for the submitted entries, except for cropping, red eye removal, and/or adjustment of contrast and brightness. Photographs that are inappropriate, indecent or obscene, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion shall be disqualified.
Note: Photos thought to be outside of the above criteria may be removed from consideration without the entrant being notified.
d. Photo size. Photos entered must be 8” x 10” (8R) and mounted on illustration board with 1.5” border.
e. Entry Form. Entry forms are available at participating photo developing shops/centers and at Rm. 214 Ilocano Heroes Hall, Laoag City.
f. Submission. Address and submit entries at “Zoom IN Photo Contest”, Rm. 214, Ilocano Heroes Hall, Laoag City.
g. Photos must be taken in Ilocos Norte between January 1, 2007 and December 15, 2007 and should not have been previously entered in any photo contest.
h. All photos entered will be evaluated by a panel of at least three judges. Of the judges, none are professional photographers.
i. All entries and photographs submitted become the exclusive property of Office of Kristian R. Ablan (OKRA), and none will be acknowledged or returned. OKRA retains full editorial control over the selection of, and the decision not to select, any particular photograph for publication.
6. Criteria for Judging:
a. Creativity – 30% The amount of imagination, artistic merit, originality and expressiveness of the photo.
b. Relevance to the theme – 25% How well does the entry promote tourism for Ilocos Norte?
c. Quality of Presentation – 20% The amount of style, skill and craft that was put into the entry.
d. Visual Impact – 25% How well does the entry communicate?

7. Prizes:
Major Prizes: 1st Prize : Php 10,000.00 + Trophy + Overnight stay at Fort Ilocandia
2nd Prize: Php 7,500.00 + Trophy + Two (2) Round trip tickets to Manila via Cebu Pacific
3rd Prize: Php 5,000.00 + Trophy + Overnight stay at Sitio Remedios
Special Awards: Governor’s Choice: Php 5,000.00
Mayor’s Choice: Php 5,000.00
Gordion Travel & Tours Choice: Overnight Stay at Gordion Inn
Other Minor Prizes
8. Decision. Judges’ decision is final.
9. Disqualification. Employees of the Office of Kristian R. Ablan, Department of Tourism, Provincial Tourism Office, including their relatives up to second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the contest.
10. Rights Granted. By submitting a photograph for consideration, you warrant and represent that the photograph you submit is your own original work, that you alone own copyright to the photograph, that it is an authentic and accurate depiction of the subject matter presented, that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph, and that you have obtained all third party releases and permissions necessary for our use. If OKRA receives a complaint that substantially questions the reliability of any of the above warranties, we reserve the right to remove or delete the photograph.
Entrants retain the copyright to their photographs, and all rights thereto, except as follows. OKRA shall have the right to edit, adapt and publish any or all of the descriptions and/or photos submitted, and may use them in any medium without attribution or compensation to the Entrant, his or her successors or assigns, or any other entity. By entering the Contest, Entrants agree to have their submitted photograph used and displayed, either singly or in combination with others and in any size, on the Ilocos Norte Official Website and in the Provincial Capitol and the Museo Ilocos, among other exhibition venues, without any fee or other form of compensation due at any time for so long as desired by OKRA. Photos will be credited to the Entrant named in the entry form.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Man for All Seasons 1

'A Man for All Seasons' is a 1966 movie starring Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More, the former Chancellor of England in the 16th Century who refused to endorse or denounce King Henry's wish to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon--who could not bear a son. The film is based on a play with the same name, written by Robert Bolt.

It's definitely one of my favorites. Idol ko yang si Thomas More kasi maprinsipyo siya. I don't know if I could lay down my life for principle, like him, but I do aspire for it.

One quotable quote was on the importance of law, and the fact that it protects everyone, and we should not trample on it to get to the bad guy.

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Another quotable quote from the film (and the play) was about public service. Dapat ang publiko ang palaging nasa isipan ng isang tao habang siya ay isang opisyal ng gobyerno, at hindi ang sarili.

Sir Thomas More: I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

St. More was truly a man all public servants should aspire to emulate.

Ma-download nga yung movie sa bitcomet.