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Quick QWERTY!

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Failing in Line

Magulo na naman ang pila sa jeepney terminal kanina.

Hindi pa puno ang unang jeep, tumatakbo na sa susunod na jeep ang mga nasa gitna ng pila. Ang iba naman, ayaw nang pumila; noong nakitang mahaba ang pila, sumabit na lang sila sa jeep na napuno at paalis na.

Paligsahan na naman sa pilahan. Atat na atat makasakay. Walang paki sa pila.

Hay.

Hindi lang sa mga terminal ng jeep talamak ang mga eksenang tulad niyan.

Sa istasyon ng MRT, hindi pa nakakalabas ng tren ang mga bababa, susugod na papasok ang mga pasahero sa platform.

Sa EDSA, may mga bus stops nga, pero sa ibang lugar naghahantay ng bus at sumasakay ang mga commuters. Pagkababa ng bus, may mga hahakbang at lulusot sa metal barriers sa gilid ng sidewalk, para lang mabilis na makatungtong sa overpass at makatawid sa kabila.

Pati bus drivers, pasaway rin: nagsasakay at nagbababa ng pasahero sa hindi bus stop, nagbubukas ng pinto ng bus sa gitna ng daan, at patabingi – dalawang linya ng EDSA ang sakop – kung magsakay.

Maski mga colorum na tricycle sa barangay namin, isang linya ng daan ang ino-okupa, pero nag-aabang lang naman ng pasahero. Ang iba nga, bubuntot pa sa mga tumitigil na jeep, nagbabaka-sakaling paparahin sila ng mga bumababang pasahero.

Heto pa: Mga taxi na mabilis ang patak ng metro, mga traffic enforcers na nangongotong, mga private cars na napapadpad sa loob ng yellow lane, mga Pinoy na buwis-buhay kung tumawid sa hindi pedestrian lane…

Haaaaaaay. Hindi ka mauubusan ng ganitong mga eksena araw-araw. (Hindi ka rin mauubusan ng letter A at ng buntong-hininga sa pag-“Haaaaaaay.”)

Bahagi na yata ng buhay-commuter ang pagsingit sa pila, pag-uunahan sa pagsakay, at paglabag sa batas-trapiko.

Para saan pa ang pila, ang road signs, ang bus stops, ang terminals, ang sistema, at ang batas-trapiko kung hindi naman nasusunod at nirerespeto?

Uso bang maging pasaway ngayon? Nasa kulturang Pinoy na ba ang kawalan ng disiplina… pati ang pandaraya, panggugulang at panlalamang?

May matapat at masunurin pa bang commuter o driver?* O dahil talamak na rin naman ang paglabag kahit sa simpleng panuntunan dito sa Pilipinas kaya wala nang pag-asa?

Kailangan ba, may parangal sa bawat pagsunod sa batas-trapiko? Kailangan bang ipagyabang ang bawat tamang gawain?

Sino o alin ba ang dapat sisihin? Ang batas? Ang mga nakaupo sa gobyerno? Ang mga driver ng bus, jeep, at tricycle? Ang makitid na EDSA? Kahirapan? Tayo? O lahat ng nabanggit?

Sino ba ang dapat maunang magbago? Sila o tayo?

Masasagot ba lahat ng tanong ko? Ewan.

Darating pa ba ang panahong aayos ang magulong sitwasyon sa pampublikong transportasyon? Sana.

Darating pa ba ang panahong susunod ang lahat, commuter man o driver, sa batas-trapiko?

Sana, ngayon na.

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* Para patas, meron namang masunurin, mababait at matatapat na drivers at commuters.

Hindi ka mauubusan ng mga istorya tungkol sa taxi drivers na nagbabalik ng perang naiwan ng kanilang pasahero sa taxi nila.

Maraming anecdotes sa social media tungkol sa mga lumalaban sa mga hold-uppers sa pampublikong sasakyan.

Social media rin ang “bulletin board” ng mga concerned commuters tungkol sa mga umiiral na modus operandi at mga kotong cops.

Kaso, sa araw-araw natin pagko-commute, mas kapansin-pansin kasi ang “bad habits and practices” natin kumpara sa mga “good Samaritan” stories tulad ng mga nabanggit.

Kumbaga, mas frequent tayong maging pasaway kaysa maging masunurin at mabait.

Maging exception nawa ang pagiging pasaway natin kaysa maging general rule. 🙂

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“Be honest if others are not, even if others cannot, even if others will not.”

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Quick QWERTY: On the 2013 Senate Elections

What’s cool about this year’s Senate election?

1. Kaunti lang ang Senatorial candidates. Mas madaling tutukan ang bawat isa. At mas malaki na ang airtime ng bawat kandidato. This means, significant na ang number of news appearances ng Independent at third-party candidates, unlike before na ‘yung main tickets lang ang prominent sa balita.

2. Quality over quantity. Kudos to COMELEC for narrowing down the list from 85 to 33. Kaya mas makikilatis ng botante ang bawat kandidato at kanilang plataporma, at mas kailangang mag-step up ng mga Senatoriables para makumbinsi ang madla na karapat-dapat silang ihalal at bigyan ng six-year term sa Senado.

3. “Hindi na uso ang clean sweep.” Ang Team PNoy at UNA coalition, hindi nakabuo ng buong listahan ng 12 kandidato. Tatlo ang shared guest candidates sa parehong ticket. The way I see it, mas naghahangad na tayo ngayon ng mga dekalibreng Senador, kahit na sa magkakaibang ticket pa magmumula ang iboboto natin/mananalo sa Mayo 13. Hindi na tayo boboto nang basta-basta. Sa pagsagot nating mga Pinoy sa pre-election surveys – na isa sa mga naging basehan ng mga kandidato kung tatakbo o hindi – mas naging ma-alam tayo (kung hindi man matalino) sa kung sinu-sino ang mga dapat suportahan.

Quick QWERTY: On TV Patrol

Not a radio show.

TV Patrol is among my major pet peeves in news reporting. It’s a nightly newscast shown nationwide, not a “radio show” of its three anchors: a former Vice President (Noli de Castro), a former Congressman (Ted Failon), and the wife of a current Cabinet secretary (Korina Sanchez).

Their opinions at the end of the telecast and their remarks in some news items cast doubts on the show’s integrity, and its status as a standard-bearer of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs’s “panig sa katotohanan” slogan. What (or whose) “truth” do they refer to when they ramble live on national TV? Do they represent the parties involved in the news? Are they the experts in the news that they report?

It’s easy to influence people nowadays, and the openness of these three during the telecast presents a huge danger in terms of what the viewers should and should not know.

My main point here is that news reporting on TV should only be about reading the news, and letting people think for themselves, just like the old days of TV Patrol.

On Presidents, Elections, and Credentials

I saw this “infographic” on my Facebook feed. I couldn’t resist reacting.

Graphic from Showbiz Government Facebook page

I have commented on this already on my Wall. To repeat and expound further:

We have to point out that from 1946 to 1972, the Philippines had a two-party system (Nacionalista Party versus Liberal Party). Each party fielded candidates very well: labanan ng accomplishments at character. Thus, the credentials of these past Presidents. In short, their respective political parties chose them in the first place.

In 1935, Quezon def. former Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo and Independent Church Supreme Bishop Gregorio Aglipay.

[Note: Pres. Jose P. Laurel, although not elected, was a lawyer, too. He was also a Supreme Court Associate Justice for six years before the Japanese Occupation started. He was “anointed” by Quezon as the nation’s “caretaker” (due to his previous interactions with the Japanese) when the Commonwealth Government went in exile in 1942.]

Vice Pres. Osmeña succeeded Quezon after the latter’s death in 1944. Roxas (LP) def. Osmeña (NP) in the 1946 elections (the start of the two-party system).

Vice Pres. Quirino (LP) succeeded Roxas after the latter’s death in 1948. He won against former Pres. Jose P. Laurel (NP) and then-Senate Pres. Jose Avelino (also from LP) in the elections the following year.

Magsaysay (NP) def. Quirino in the 1953 elections.

Vice Pres. Garcia (NP) succeeded Magsaysay after the latter’s death in 1957. He won against former Sen. Jose Yulo (LP), Manuel Manahan (Progressive Party), then-Sen. Claro M. Recto (NCP), and Antonio Quirino (also from LP, brother of former Pres. Quirino) in the elections the same year.

Vice Pres. Macapagal (LP) def. Garcia in the 1961 elections.

Then-Senate Pres. Marcos (NP) def. Macapagal and Sen. Raul Manglapus (Progressive) in the 1965 elections. He also won in 1969, against Sen. Sergio Osmeña, Jr. (LP).

All aforementioned candidates since 1946 (except Manahan, Magsaysay, Manglapus* and Osmeña, Jr.) were lawyers. Also, each candidate had been elected and/or appointed to various government positions prior to the elections. Everyone finished college. (*Note: Manglapus was given an honorary doctorate law degree by Ateneo de Manila University.)

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However, since 1986, the criteria of political parties and coalitions have shifted from credentials of its candidates to their “popularity”. This is what needs to change. The focus of the elections should be brought back to public service, not politics and entertainment.

Also, with an average of eight candidates running for the Presidency in every national election since 1992 (compared to an average of three in the pre-Martial Law years), it’s hard for Filipinos to choose the “right man/woman” to run the nation, because they can only vote for one person. Lots of factors come into play in their decision, so we really can’t tell or know for a fact how Filipinos vote. Every candidate has credentials they could be proud of, but it ultimately boils down to who the voters choose.

To be fair, here are the “aces” of the post-Martial Law Presidents:

Corazon Aquino graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent (an erstwhile liberal arts school for women) in New York City, and studied law for one year in FEU. She is the wife of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

Fidel V. Ramos was a four-star general, and fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was Chief of the Philippine Constabulary during Martial Law, and the only AFP Chief of Staff who went on to become President of the Philippines.

Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected Mayor, Senator and Vice President in a span of three decades before becoming President.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her undergraduate, masters and doctorate studies in economics here and abroad. She was an economics professor in Ateneo and UP for ten years before entering government service in 1987.

Benigno Aquino III, besides his political pedigree, was a BS Economics graduate, becoming a student of Mrs. Gloria Arroyo at one point. He later took business-related jobs (including working for the family-owned Central Azucarera de Tarlac for five years) before entering politics in 1998.

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IMO, wala tayong karapatang kutyain ang desisyon ng taong-bayan. Parang minamaliit mo na rin ang democracy niyan, eh. We have decided; let’s deal with it.

This infographic has one point, though, that stands: The electorate chooses from the candidates. Kung aayusin ng political parties ang criteria nila sa pagpili ng kanilang kandidato, sa tingin ko mas magiging interesante at mahalaga ang eleksyon sa Pilipinas. 🙂

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