Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yeah, our Bicolana bet could have nailed it after she has successfully made it to the top 5 finalists in the Miss Universe 2010 which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 24, 2010. That was until the Q & A portion.

William Baldwin: What is one big mistake you made in ur life and what did you do to make it right?
Venus Raj: In my 22 years of existence, there is no major, major problem that I have done in my life because I am very confident with my family and the love they give to me. Thank you so much that I am here. Thank you so much.

I was like, "Huh?, That was it?". I then got up from my seat and walked away from the television set and resumed working. I knew from that moment on she has lost it. Just one more hurdle and she lost it.

Inspite of it all, I'm still proud of our Pinay. Nobody has made it this far since Miriam Quiambao bagged the Ms. Universe 1999 1st runner up title. From the ricefields in Bicol, Venus Raj made it all the way to the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Not to mention the adversities she has to go through to fight for her crown. She was stripped off her crown a month after winning due to her questionable birth records. However, BPCI took back their decision and gave her back the crown if she can present them her passport and for humanitarian reasons. This Pinay went through a lot and she faced them head on. That alone is a tough act to follow.

Scrutinies were expected after she ended up being a 4th runner up. And the first ones who cast the first stone were her fellowmen. I would be a hypocrite if I won't admit I was disappointed. Every Filipino was rooting for her to win after the hostage incident yesterday. Every Filipino wants her to redeem our reputation. That we are a country of beauty and brain, too and we are not a country full of rogue cops and incompetent SWAT team.

My former colleague even commented we should have sent Manny Pacquiao to the Ms. Universe pageant. He always beat the Mexicans, he always does.

Venus Raj did her best and it was evident right from the start of the pageant. She couldn't have done a better job. She gave us something to be proud of to say the least. Blame it on her nerves, the pressure or blame it on Melay. She has influenced Venus Raj on her "Over, over" phrase that she has to say "Major" succeedingly in her answer.

Just kidding. Peace, Melay.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Photo taken from the internet

I have always known this hostage crisis initiated by Rolando Mendoza would end tragically by the time the Manila Police picked up his brother and relatives against their will. They accused his brother of conspiracy and accessory to the crime. Any person with a good grasp of common sense would know the situation will only aggravate the unstable emotional state of former Capt. Rolando Mendoza.

I have learned from the news that the reason why Capt. Mendoza held a tourist bus full of Chinese nationals in the morning of Aug. 21 was that he would like to be reinstated in the service and that the Office of the Ombudsman should review his case. Mendoza was dismissed from the police service after found guilty of extortion and allegedly asked Christian Kalaw to swallow a sachet of illegal drug known as shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride). Christian Kalaw, a chef, was allegedly arrested by Capt. Mendoza of illegal parking, driving without license and possession of illegal drugs.

The situation looks promising at first. Capt. Mendoza releases hostages every now and then. He seemed harmless enough when he was seen waving at the media after releasing some of his captives. Police were optimistic. They even speculated it would be over soon. He was open to negotiations and he has never hurt anybody even after declaring a deadlock at 3pm. It only took a drastic turn of events when the Manila police arrested his brother and a couple of relatives. Mendoza's brother, also a policeman, refused to be taken since he said he'd be killed by the police officers. This, I believe, has provoked Mendoza to turn amok and fire some shots inside the bus.

As I was watching the live news coverage, I was in rage. It only takes a simple analogy on what will happen if Capt. Mendoza will see how his relatives are dragged despite of their pleas. Minutes later, shots were heard inside the bus and I said, I told you so.

Later on, I saw the bus driver escaped through the driver's window screaming, "Everybody's dead!, Everybody's dead!". It took a while for the police officers and SWAT team to set themselves up, not to mention break a simple door alone.

Shots were further exchanged and later on, teargas was thrown inside the bus. Were they able to confirm if all hostages are dead? Weren't they able to hear any voices or cries inside? How can they carelessly raid the bus without any confirmation if there are still innocent lives at stake? Should the use of force needed at all?

The hostage ended tragically. Capt. Mendoza was shot to the head was found hanging dead on the bus' door. One by one, hostages were pulled out and no, not all hostages are dead. The SWAT team and the police officers threw a tear gas and open fired with civilians inside. How dumber could these guys get?

Please don't take me wrongly. I don't consent to Capt. Mendoza's action. What I'm saying is, the situation could have been handled carefully. Nobody has to die, nobody has to get hurt. The hostages' well-being should have been the utmost priority of these officers. A certain police superintendent told the media all the hostages have been killed when in fact, they weren't. You guys had an army of men out there and you can't confirm the truth? For God's sakes, you can't even bust a single door.

I later on learned that you had to take a quick practice at the back of the crime scene to learn how to handle the situation. Now, we'd be a laughing stock of the whole world again.

I have utmost respect for all policemen, soldiers and firefighters alike. What I don't really like is when I see a single policeman torturing an arrested suspect leading to his death or a group of policemen carelessly endangering the lives of innocent civilians.

Capt. Mendoza died fighting for his cause. He chose death over injustice. It's not everyday we see someone so passionate for what he believes in resulting to drastic actions. No, we there won't be any 21-gun salute on his funeral for sure. Others may regard him as foolish or idiotic but who are we to judge?

Only those who had been aggrieved would understand. Only those who had suffered injustice will see the reasons why. Only Capt. Mendoza could justify what he had done and why. But we can't hear his tale. The hostage drama which seemed to be promising to end peacefully turned out to be a disaster.

In the end, the question I ask, who really has done the most error in this crisis?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It was a lazy sunday so I asked my hubby to take me and the kids somewhere we've never been to. I told him I had enough of malls and that he should treat me like a tourist and take me somewhere exciting and fun.
Manila Zoo popped into the conversation and being a self-confessed OC, I searched for the place in the internet. There were a lot of negative feedbacks about the place. Many say the place is low-maintained and the living condition of the animals are very poor. This I got to see, I told myself.

An hour or so later, we arrived in Manila Zoo and found the place to be packed with so many people, locals and tourists alike. We paid the entrance fee of Php40 (for adults and kids with height above 4") and Php20 (for kids below the height of 4"). There were 4 adults in our group (Me, hubby, my 10-year old daughter A. and two yayas) and my 17-month old son, H. Hubby paid a total of Php220 and off we go.

The first thing that caught my eye was the aging elephant banging a chain on the wall with his trunk. Hmmm, he must be having a terrible day, I thought. After taking a few pictures, we moved on to the ostrich pen. As we were nearing the place, I noticed a guy splashing a cold water on the poor ostrich and he was having the time of his life. The ostrich kept on dodging himself from the splash and I can't help but to give the guy a dirty look and so he stopped. I just couldn't help myself from reacting. That wasn't funny at all and even my daughter reacted on how mean and cruel the guy was.

We went from one pen to another and as hubby stopped to buy himself an icecream, I went to the nearest cage of crocodiles. I initially thought they were statue models of crocodiles but when this guy beside me (this is another guy from the one mentioned above) threw a pebble on one of the crocs, the harmed animal instinctly snapped his jaw, obviously hurt. He told his companion he needs to take a picture of it awake. I walked away from the pen, shaking my head.

Manila Zoo is not the upscale type of zoo you have in mind. True enough, living conditions of the animals could have been improved but what do you truly expect from local officials nowadays? What really bothered me about the trip was that how some people can be so cruel on treating these poor creatures? Lack of education is not an excuse. It's the lack of empathy.

If local officials will make these animals' habitat livable, how can they protect them from these kind of people? Living conditions is important, I agree but emphasis must be acted upon on how to treat these animals humanely possible.

There was one area in the zoo where you can get your pictures taken with all those exotic birds. There was a long queue and I could see from the distance how these birds were grabbed to be placed on the arms of the customers, and they don't even have any water or food available. They were simultaneously and continuously placed on one customer to another without any rest, water or food.

My kids had fun but I can't turn away from the ugly sight of mishandling these poor creatures. It was a heart-wrenching trip not because the animals were caged or confined but because, how we people can be so cruel. We are all made under one Creator and we should never think so highly of ourselves t0 we think that we the God-given right to abuse the nature and the animals alike.

Please let be us kind to all the things around us. Dyed chicks aren't cute. Would you like your body to be dyed in blue and orange at the same time. I don't think so.