The president’s love life

PNoyI find it really distasteful how the President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III can talk (and joke) about his love life in the light of what’s happening in the country. I mean come on! So many issues need to be answered/addressed by the president I would like to think that he knew to brush off questions regarding his love life, not bask in it and act like he’s even kinikilig about it!

These are just some of the issues in the country right now…

  • There’s still those missing persons/casualties of typhoon Sendong in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City.
  • There’s the to-be-implemented K+12 Program by the Department of Education (DepEd) by this coming June 2012 (School Year 2012-2013) which I heard from my sister (who teaches in a Catholic School in Manila) is being protested by a lot of parents especially those with incoming Grade 6 kids.
  • There’s also the ongoing impeachment proceedings versus Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
  • Congressman Iggy Arroyo’s death. This should not have been a national issue but since he is tied up to the controversial Jose Pidal account…
  • And there’s still the cases against former President-now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

So the Philippines has a bachelor president. So what?!? Sure, we have vested interest in who he might marry while serving as the Chief Executive of the country. But the guy is still getting to know women and dating them. We need not discuss it on national television and he need not act like a teenage boy in the brink of jumping into a relationship with his first love! Not to mention how his sister Kris Aquino couldn’t stop herself from declaring how nice the president looked together with the Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who is also single like him! Ah these Aquinos!

Can you imagine the Korean TV host Grace Lee became a trending topic in Twitter for close to 2 days just because she is dating the president?!?

Sana bago asikasuhin ang love life eh asikasuhin muna ang sandamak na issue sa bansa. Ang dami pa ring eskwelahan ang di magamit dahil evacuation centers pa rin. Kulang pa rin ang mga classrooms at school supplies especially textbooks. Ang daming dapat pagtuunan ng pansin ng presidente natin! Kung gusto lang pala niyang mag-date, sana di na lang siya tumakbong presidente di ba? Unahin ba raw ang love life!!

DepEd’s K+12 Program: Solution to education problems in the country?

I don’t know if you have heard it already but starting June 2012, all incoming Grade 1 students in the country will be part of the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

What is the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program that I mentioned?

This is what I got from gov.ph‘s web site…

This model involves Kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school (Grades 7 to 10) and two years of senior high school (Grades 11 to 12). The two years of senior high school intend to provide time for students to consolidate acquired academic skills and competencies.

The two years in senior high school… The curriculum will allow specializations in Science and Technology, Music and Arts, Agriculture and Fisheries, Sports, Business and Entrepreneurship.

At some level I understand the point of the DepEd in the additional two years in high school. Some high school graduates tend to enroll in a college course that they are still unsure of. After a year, they will shift to another course and that is a waste of precious time and money. What the DepEd has in mind is for high school students to spend the additional two years thinking and making sure that they know what they really want to take up in college. DepEd is also saying that the two years will be like a course in Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), training students so that for those who cannot afford to go to college, they can begin looking for jobs after.

Now, my beef on this DepEd program…

The program claims that the two years will provide better quality education for all. Does it really guarantee a better quality education? » Read more

A reminder to Sendong victim donors

May I just remind every kindhearted individual who will be donating to the victims of Typhoon Sendong to please verify the accounts you will be donating to. There are so many individuals asking for help and you will find that they are using their personal accounts in accepting donations. I am not saying all of those individuals are out to get your money. But this thing already happened in the past and it can happen again. There are just some people who can stomach duping kindhearted people out of their money.

So please verify. If unsure where to donate, I suggest go to RED CROSS. You can donate in any way you like through their page. You can donate via online banking, credit card, Paypal, GCash, bank deposits, and many more.

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya and GMA Kapuso Foundation are also accepting donations. All LBC branches are accepting donations as well. If you want to donate clothes and other stuff, just go to any nearest LBC branch and they will send your box to Mindanao right away for free!

Just verify and make sure the money, clothes and goods you want to give to the victims of Typhoon Sendong will really find its way to them.

6 long weekends in 2012

There will be 6 long weekends in 2012 according to the official list of regular holidays and special (non-working) days from Malacañang.

The first one will be on January 21 to 23, the 23rd being a special non-working holiday as it is the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Holy Week which will last 5 days is the next long weekend we will have. April 5 to 9. Mark your calendar and schedule those trips to the beach during these days 😉 April 5 (Holy Thursday) and 6 (Good Friday) are regular holidays. These are followed by a weekend, April 7-8, while April 9 (Araw ng Kagitingan) is also a holiday.

Next one is on August 25 to 27, National Heroes’ Day, a regular holiday.

A 4-day weekend on November will be the next one which will be composed of two special non-working holidays November 1 (All Saints’ Day) and November 2 (All Souls’ Day).

At the end of November, there will be another long weekend after Bonifacio Day, November 30, was declared a regular holiday. November 30 falls on a Friday.

The last long weekend will be on December 29 to 31, the last day being a non-working holiday.

Regular Holidays for 2012

New Year’s Day…… January 1 (Sunday)
Maundy Thursday…… April 5
Good Friday……. April 6
Araw ng Kagitingan…… April 9 (Monday)3
Labor Day…… May 1 (Tuesday)
Independence Day…… June 12 (Tuesday)
National Heroes Day…… August 27 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day…… November 30 (Friday)
Christmas Day…… December 25 (Tuesday
Rizal Day…… December 30 (Sunday)

Special (Non-Working) Holidays

Chinese New Year…… January 23 (Monday)
Ninoy Aquino Day…… August 21 (Tuesday)
All Saints Day…… November 1 (Thursday)
Additional special (non-working) day…… November 2 (Friday)
Last Day of the Year…… December 31 (Monday)

Special Holiday (for all schools)

EDSA Revolution Anniversary…… February 25 (Saturday)

Mark your calendars!

Please pray for the victims of Typhoon Sendong

Iligan City

Let us please take a moment to offer our prayers for the victims of typhoon Sendong in Mindanao.

So many provinces are affected and the number of families affected by it are rising as I write this entry. If you want to see the aftermath of the typhoon, you can view this Facebook album by Jeffrey Wong (where I also took the photo above. Thanks, Jeffrey!). Flash flooding is one of the worse calamities that can happen anywhere. Most especially if it happens while every one is asleep, just like what happened in Mindanao.

If you can offer any kind of help, please go to the Red Cross Philippines website or to gov.ph on how to go about it.

UPDATE: Here are more photos of the tragedy that struck Cagayan de Oro City.

What’s hot in Manila now: Killed by own siblings

Ram RevillaRamgen Revilla, 22, son of former senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. and half-brother of actor and now Senator Bong Revilla, was killed in his own home. He was stabbed 11 times and shot by two gunmen wearing bonnets. His ex-girlfriend who was with him that time was also shot in the head but survived the incident albeit still in critical condition in the hospital. It was tragic made even more so by reports that his very own siblings plotted his murder by hiring gunmen and paying them 200,000 pesos (roughly US$4,800) in return. His younger brother Ramon Joseph and younger sister Ramona are being implicated in the murder by the gunman himself and by Ram’s assistant who was there at the scene when the crime took place.

It was reported that differences in financial matters was the primary motive in the killing. According to police report, Ram and his 8 other siblings receive 1 million pesos monthly allowance from former senator Revilla as child support. Ram would receive the money and was the one tasked to handle it on behalf of his younger siblings. It was said that Ram was not good in handling their finances and his siblings detested him for that.

Money is the root of evil. I was reminded of that quote when I heard of this news. Money and the fact that more often than not we let it govern our lives. I cannot fathom how a sibling can kill his sibling just because of money. But it has happened in the past and I know it will happen again. Blinded by the need for money, some people can really commit a crime. It’s just sad that money can divide and destroy a family when it never should.

My DFA Experience, part 2

Passports

It took a while for me to write the part 2 of My DFA Experience. The reason for this is I want to know if both rush and regular processing of passports really work. My little girl and I opted for rush processing as I had to go back to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the copy of my passport for the little girl’s travel clearance. It actually worked and there wasn’t much of a hassle even when we opted to pick up our passports than have it delivered. That’s rush processing with personal pick-up. Now for the choice of regular processing with delivery, it also worked just fine. My dad and my brother chose this option. We paid an additional Php180 for the delivery charge per passport. My dad and my brother were given the dates when their passports will arrive but you know what? It arrived two days before the release date! Not bad, right?

My two sisters, on the other hand, had their passports processed a few days after us. They chose the option of rush processing with delivery. It’s the same with my dad and my brother. Their passports were delivered ahead of the release date.

Problems may arise like what happened with my friend and her son. Her son’s surname on the passport was misspelled and it took them a while to get it cleared. But I would like to think that these are isolated cases and that the DFA is doing their best to get these things resolved on time.

All in all, I must say that the DFA has already improved their passport services. You can either have your schedule via the web or you can call them up at 737-1000. You can have your passports processed in a rush (Php1,200) or in regular business days (Php900). You can choose to have your passports delivered to your doorstep (additional Php180) or you can pick it up personally on due date.

I believe that if we really want change, it can happen. If we eliminate the fixers, under the table transactions, palakasan system and all that, a better government service can be given to its citizens.

Keep up the good work DFA Passport services!

😉

My DFA experience

Pilipinas Pasaporte

Let me tell you my experience with Passport Renewal and New Application Processing at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). My dad, my brother, Hazel my little girl, and I went to their ASEANA Office at the Macapagal Boulevard for our passport applications. My dad and I for renewal only while my brother and Hazel for new application processing. We had our appointments set through the DFA Appointment System’s 737-1000 phone service. We chose the family appointment so we can go as one unit and I can easily assist them while inside DFA. We set our appointment last August 1, 2011 at 8:30AM.

I’ve been hearing reports that there is still a line outside of people trying their luck to get in without an appointment. This is actually true. I’ve seen some people outside the gate 1 of DFA ASEANA Office. This is a warning to those who still believe they can get in without setting an appointment either online or through the 737-1000 phone service… you can’t get in by lining up outside anymore! Your appointment paper, the DFA Form with the appointment date and time on top of it, will be presented to the guards at Gate 2 (for individual applicants). You can’t get in without it so lining up will be a futile effort on your part. Or even if you can get past the guards at the gates, you won’t be entertained inside without an appointment.

Anyway, because of those reports, I told everyone that we would head out to DFA at least an hour and a half in advance (to allow for travel and waiting time). We arrived at the DFA office a little past 8AM. We were directed right away to a table where there were three people scanning the bar codes on top of the Passport Application/Renewal Form (that you have to print as part of the documents you will be bringing with you). After which, we were asked to wait but we didn’t have to wait long. I think we sat at the waiting area outside for just a minute or two then ahead of the designated time of 8:30AM, we were asked to go inside the office already. There we were asked to line up for the Verification of Documents. We didn’t have to stand for a long time because chairs are prepared for applicants to sit on. It was a very organized process. When it’s time for me and my family to go to an available window, we went altogether: my brother first, then Hazel, my dad and I was the last one. I was the one who prepared their documents so I assisted them as their documents were verified. I will write a separate post for the documents required for passport processing. After verification, each one of us were asked to specify whether we want to have our passports rushed or not. I chose express processing (Php1,200 each, 15 days wait or 10 business working days) for Hazel and I, and regular processing for my dad and my brother (Php900 each, 30 days wait or 20 business working days).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of My DFA Experience

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