Weather in Manila today…

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It’s slightly better than yesterday. The weather here in Manila as of 6PM today, April 14, 2009, is 31°C. It feels like you have a flu. That’s how hot it is right now. Taking a bath won’t do that much. It will just make you feel the heat and humidity more. Even putting the electric fan on steady so the air will blow directly to your face and body will only cool you down a bit.

Imagine the electricity shutting down! Meralco knows that every summer, people need electricity more than ever. As always, brownouts happen every now and then. A few minutes ago, electricity was down in our area. Tsk tsk

Maynilad Water is also pulling a stupid stunt. Shutting down water supply and just giving us an hour or two every day to fill our water drums. My dad has been calling up Maynilad Water’s 24/7 hotline 1626 asking them to do something about the water supply in our area but they are stubbornly refusing to do anything about it. My dad told the CS he talked to two days ago that should a fire break out in our area (wag naman sana!), residents wouldn’t have any water to use to put it out. What without water even dripping in our faucets!

So I am here in my corner at home right now, sweating even with the electric fan on steady in front of me, fuming mad because we don’t have water supply so I can take a shower to feel a bit cooler. Aargh!

Updated: Abu Sayyaf’s Red Cross hostages

UPDATE: Please visit this LINK to support and pray for the Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba. Let us all pray for the safety of the three hostages.

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Two current issues caught my attention the whole of yesterday… the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) volunteers’ continued captivity in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the HK writer Chip Tsao’s racial slur against Filipinos.

Red Cross volunteers’ continued captivity in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf

Jakob Kellenberger, a former Swiss diplomat and current head of the ICRC, issued a rare public appeal for the Abu Sayyaf to release the three Red Cross volunteers being hostaged by the group. As a response to the appeal, the government considered the demands of the Abu Sayyaf to pull out the troops in Indanan, Sulu where the the kidnapped victims are reportedly being held. Abu Sayyaf even issued a threat that should their demands are not met, they will behead a hostage.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno announced on national tv that the government troops would withdraw and it would take 36 hours at most to complete it. It began last March 28. Upon hearing this development, a reporter from ABS-CBN was able to interview Abu Sayyaf’s leader Albader Parad and he promised to release a hostage as soon as the withdrawal of troops is complete. He even promised no later than Monday morning, which should have been yesterday.

But lo and behold! After the pullout of government troops comes another demand from the Abu Sayyaf! This time around, the rebels want a total pullout of the troops in the entire island! Why am I not surprised by this development?

The Abu Sayyaf seized Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, Swiss Andreas Notter and Italian Eugenio Vagni last January 15. It’s been more than 3 months now and the three are complaining about the hardships they are experiencing from the captivity and are actually begging Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross, to do something about their condition.

The government is saying that they are running out of options to get the hostages back. A complete pullout of the troops in Sulu will result to anarchy, according to them. And I believe them. Something needs to be done to this Abu Sayyaf Group and fast!

Chip Tsao’s racial slur in my next post…

April 6 declared a holiday!

April 6 is declared as a no working holiday by Malacañang to commemorate Araw ng Kagitingan in advance. Holiday economics. Instead of April 9, the holiday is moved to the nearest Monday. That week is already Holy Week. So that means there won’t be work on Monday but employees still have to go to work on Holy Tuesday and Wednesday.

For those with vacation leave left, file that leave now for April 7 and 8! Bummer for those without or earning per day.

*Source

Boyet Fajardo: What now?

I have read somewhere that we are a nation that easily forgives and forgets. My take on this is slightly different. We forget because there are just too many issues to deal with in this country. On top of the current issue on this Boyet Fajardo – Duty Free Philippines incident, we also have the Legacy Consolidated Plans fund scam wherein a number of plan holders are unable to claim their insurance funds because the company officials allegedly misused the said funds. Remember the very same funds scam that happened to College Assurance Plan Philippines, Inc. (CAP) plan holders? Or the Pacific Plans fund scam that started this all?

There are people who continue the fight. But without media coverage, the people who should be investigating these insurance funds scams are not acting as fast as they should. Senator Mar Roxas is helping out the plan holders victimized by this Legacy funds scam. But I doubt if he would be as eager to help as he is now if not for the 2010 elections where he’s very vocal in his desire to run as a presidential hopeful. How about the other insurance plan holders of CAP and Pacific Plans. I heard that Pacific Plans was already sold to the group who owns Asian Spirit. Where did the money go? See, without media coverage, the Yuchengco Group was able to pull a stunt like this.

As bloggers, we can help spread the word. We can help create awareness. There might be no tv coverage but the internet is as powerful as television these days. Or haven’t you noticed how the tv giants became aware of this Boyet Fajardo incident? Through the noise created by bloggers!

In a few more days, this Boyet Fajardo scandal will be forgotten. The same thing that happened to the Pacific Plans and CAP scams. Marvin Fernandez, the poor cashier who is the real victim of this incident, hasn’t gotten the apology he deserves yet. Again, without media coverage of this scandal, I don’t think he’ll get it. Calling him Marvin Hernandez (in the ABS-CBN interview) and Marvin Gonzales (in the GMA-7 interview) don’t constitute as proper apology. Boyet Fajardo should go to the guy and even in private, apologize personally. That’s an apology!

My point in this post is that let us not forget. If we can write about it when there’s a development, or even from time to time to stir the status quo, let’s do it. Create awareness. Let us not forget easily. Otherwise, another Boyet Fajardo will emerge. Or another insurance company might pull a Legacy-like stunt because they think the people will be up in arms the first few weeks but will eventually forget.

Maynilad Water’s Customer Service

I have written before about Maynilad Water’s 24/7 Hotline 1626. I really like the fact that when my dad reported the sudden water interruption in our area, someone, an officer I would assume, from Maynilad made a follow-up call asking about the previous call my dad made. In that follow-up call, the officer told my dad that he will schedule a Maynilad personnel to visit us and check about my dad’s report.

This morning, the personnel from Maynilad came and checked on the validity of my dad’s report. He checked our water connection and was convinced that we have poor water supply in our area. In fact, since six this morning, there’s no water supply anymore.

You know, I am raving about Maynilad Water’s Customer Service because this is how it should be done. As a customer, I am satisfied with how they are handling my dad’s report. First, there’s a follow-up call. Mind you, it took a while because the guy who called up really listened to my dad and asked questions in turn. Then, this visit from their personnel.

Again, calling on local utility companies and DSL companies I’ve ranted about… this is how a customer complaint/report should be handled. Learn from it!

Boyet Fajardo – Duty Free Philippines incident

First Update: March 23, 2009 7:41PM after airing of the official news at TV Patrol World.

Have you heard about this Boyet Fajardo-Duty Free Philippines scandal? If you haven’t yet, the incident goes like this…

Last March 13, 2009, Filipino fashion designer Boyet Fajardo created a scene in Duty Free Philippines. He threw a humongous tantrum and threatened to have two employees of the said store fired. Guess why? A cashier politely asked for an ID because he presented an unsigned credit card! WTF?!@?%$

If you have been using your credit card in major shopping stores lately, you know that it is standard operating procedure to be asked for an identification for the card you are presenting. That’s SOP these days. Even if your credit card is signed and has a photo.

Fajardo reportedly got angry and berated the poor cashier, now named as Marvin Fernandez, and the store managerofficers of Duty Free, named as Susan Gonzales. Officers arrived at the sceneGonzales tried to pacify the angry designer to no avail. Fajardo whipped out his cellphone, threatening to call on a high positioned government official. Dito pa lang nagpi-feeling na itong designer na ito! And then onlookers were shocked when he shouted…

Mga leche kayo! Hindi niyo ako kilala? Ako si Boyet Fajardo! At itong p…ina na babaeng ito (pointing to a lady officer) at ang baklang ito (pointing to the cashier) ay walang kwentang mga tao! I want them fired!!!

An officer Gonzales asked him what he wanted just to calm him down. Did you know what he wanted? For the poor cashier to kneel down in front of him so he could slap his face! The poor cashier had no choice but to kneel down in front of the high-flying designer. There’s a video of this incident below…

The poor cashier was crying in shame afterwards. Have you seen it? No, he was not slapped. But then, what happened to him was more than being slapped!

You know, I am all for customer rights and all that. I have been writing about it here again and again. But you should know if you are in the right or wrong. Boyet Fajardo was clearly wrong in throwing his weight on a hapless cashier when the only “fault” of the poor guy was to ask for an ID from him. You can be a well-known personality, yes. But when it’s SOP to present an ID, do it! Hindi yung ipagmamanduhan mo na well-known personality ka!

Angelino Boyet Fajardo

Angelino Boyet Fajardo: O, kilala niyo ba siya? Remember that face!
Para naman sumikat na siya.
Photo credit: Inquirer.net

A Concerned Citizen is now calling for a boycott of the products being sold under Boyet Fajardo. He’s apparently selling his clothes in major malls. The information given by the Concerned Citizen is as follows:

With such disrespect, discrimination and humiliation towards a good worker, a less fortunate person and a fellow Filipino…

1. We are calling all citizens to stop patronizing Boyet Fajardo’s RTW labels such as Substance in SM department stores, Boyet Fajardo and Initials in Landmark and Robinson’s department stores.
2. We are calling on all malls to pull out or stop distributing his products in your outlets.
4. We are calling on the Commission on Human Rights, Department of Labor and Employment and all human rights and labor activists to take appropriate legal actions on this matter.
5. We are calling all foreign embassies to deny him of entry to your respective countries.
6. We are calling on the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines to dishonor him of his membership and profession.

…To give him a lesson and to help us stop him from victimizing the underprivileged over and over and over again.

Contact Information:
Boyet Fajardo
Tel: +632 6327120 / +632 6366871
Email: info@boyetfajardo.com
Website: www.boyetfajardo.com

You do not show your evil side in public and not expect a backlash. Remember that, Boyet Fajardo!

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You can check out the video shown at ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol World last night.

By the way, you can also read this blog about Fajardo. This was also one of my sources for this entry.

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Let me clarify something… I am not the source of this news. I got the details from the Concerned Citizen. But before that, my sister read a tabloid column last March 18, 2009, Direct Hit by Itchie Cabayan at People’s Tonight with the same details. Only, it was a blind item. Then when I read this same blind item at Seen/Scene of Pilipino Star Ngayon, I made some searches and found the Concerned Citizen’s petition to boycott Boyet Fajardo.

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