How not to plagiarize

The ‘plagiarism’ issue strikes back on Filipinos. After business giant Manny Pangilinan was charged of copying parts of speeches delivered by prominent US personalities, here comes a comedian-turned-Senator Tito Sotto facing the same raps for allegedly using parts of an American blogger’s post.

For years, I have been writing reports, speeches, and messages for myself (and for others) and I have always feared of being called a plagiarist.

Thanks to the numerous Chemistry Lab reports I made in college wherein I was bound to include an APA-style reference list every report (once a week), I became more patient in ensuring that those who must be given due credit are included in the bibliography.

Add to that, the “Ateneo Guide on Plagiarism” released immediately after the MVP ruckus reminded me to become extra careful in “copy-pasting.”

Below, I have enumerated my personal tips on how ‘not’ to plagiarize:

1. Have your own outline. No matter how raw your ideas are, nothing beats having your own outline drafted just to make sure that your main idea comes from your own mind.

2. Open a separate file for references. Write down all your sources on a separate sheet or document file (I use Notepad) to jot all websites, authors and references. A blank sheet of paper comes in handy as you write all the titles, authors and pages of the books you use.

3. Review citation styles. Whether APA, MLA or Chicago, you should always follow the standards in citing references.

4. Mention it. If you do not want to give credit to the person who originally wrote an idea, it is better not to mention it at all.

5. Google it. Look it up over search engines, or better yet, you may check it via (the one SEO writers use) and see to it that you get 0%.

6. Don’t steal photos. Include the name of the photographer/source of the photo you use to supplement your write-up. Now you have a good reason to use watermark option or font size 8.

7. Invest on time, paper and effort. Before publicizing your masterpiece, re-read it, include all your references (even if it entails you extra pages) and review all the contents.

PS. I “Googled” the title of my blog and found two articles of the same title but with different contents. For reference purposes, visit the following sites:

This post was reviewed by and revealed the following results:
Matched phrases in Google and Yahoo: 0%

What ’30 Rock’ taught me today

Have you ever wondered if what you did today is the same thing as you did a year ago?








In the 15th episode of 30 Rock Season 6, Tina Fey (Liz) looks back on her diary and surprisingly realizes that everything that is happening to her is a repetition of what happened last year.

And so, I wondered – what did I do during the past August 25’s of my life?

2008 (blank)
It was a Monday. What did I do? Based on my planner, nothing.

2009 (more-than-normal workday)
Results of Civil Service Exam released. I passed! (9am); I had a meeting with the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Committee, City Hall(10am)

2010 Friday (another normal workday)
Technical Working Group meeting for the Balanced Scorecard Formulation of the League of Cities of the Philippines (9-3pm); Meeting with Mr. Loi David for the Center for Leadership, Excellence and Responsible Citizenship Foundation, Inc. (4pm)

2011 Thursday (normal workday)
Attended a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Organization of Socialized Housing and Development (9am); Printed telephone slips (1pm); Drafted questionnaires and topics for our newsletter (3pm); newsletter meeting (4pm)

There should be an improvement (so-called ‘level-up’) in the thing you do to gauge if you are moving forward (or backward) in life.

For the year 2012, August 25 fell on a weekend. I guess that’s the reason why it is not that memorable. I was supposed to treat my friends today or go out for dinner but staying at home seemed to be the perfect thing to do today. Nothing beats “me” time.

From a blank page in 2008 to a filled-up page in 2011 – I guess that’s a proof that something’s going on with my life.

Next year, I just have to look at my Facebook timeline instead. That would be easier!

For 30 Rock, you earned an avid fan.

Ninoy in the time of “Gangnam” and “Random Girl”

I had a hard time looking for a yellow long-sleeved polo shirt for tomorrow’s Ninoy Aquino Day. The yellow ‘fad’ may be waning, but with PNOY and Kris around, their father’s memory will always be alive.

While a lot of Pinoy netizens are talking about a Korean dance craze and a random singing sensation, the long weekend should remind us of Ninoy’s heroism. Are we still worth dying for despite of the  fact that our country has ‘electioneering’ wannabe politicians helping out in times of calamities, a so-called “lying thief” in the Senate, and a worsening Metro Manila environs?

Ninoy is viral
As a good communicator, Ninoy would definitely go ‘viral.’ Even before the advent of YouTube videos, all his speeches were documented. His Los Angeles speech is one of the most-played on TV:

Reminders about our ‘Yellow Hero’ in San Fernando, Pampanga:

  • Ninoy Aquino Mini Theater at the Heroes Hall
  • Benigno Aquino Hall at the Pampanga Capitol
  • Ninoy Aquino Street at St. Dominic Corinthian Subdivision
  • There is an “Aquino” street in DAVSAN Subdivision

By the way, I just subscribed to NinoyAquinoTV. I saw a link dedicated to Ninoy (I’m just wondering what Charice Pempengco had to do with this site).

What would be his comments on The RH Bill and what would be his advice for the family of Secretary Robredo? In the midst of crises, today is the right moment to be reminded of Aquino’s heroism. Filipinos surpassed years of dictatorship and hardships, and I’m sure we’ll survive these trying times.

Tomorrow is the 29th commemoration of the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. He is still alive in the time of “Gangnam” and “Random Girl.”

Lessons from ‘habagat’

All we really need to know, we learned from Pinatubo, Ondoy and Sendong experiences (Dissecting the “Habagat” story in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga)

The damp eve of August 7 signaled the start of a series of events that seriously affected the City where I live in. Continuous downpour of heavy monsoon (habagat) rains and the breaching of a major dike caused floods and affected more than 18,000 families. Water levels in major thoroughfares rose and vital road networks became impassable.

Memorandum Circular 33 from the Malacanang Palace announces that all classes and government offices are are suspended. During this time, families from  affected areas (22 out of the 35 villages) in the City were evacuating their homes. Flood waters started to rise in the Poblacion Area (City Hall and Metropolitan Cathedral area), Lazatin Boulevard, and Jose Abad Santos Avenue.

Non-stop rescue and relief operations continues as the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office led by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez himself together with Executive Officer and City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao.

Heroes Hall became the ‘staging area’ and operations center. Hotline 961-HELP got disconnected but was immediately replaced by new hotline numbers. The Official Facebook page of San Fernando ( became the most reliable source of information for netizens and “Likes” spiked from 10,000 to 12,000++ in just 3 days.

Memo enjoining employees of City Hall to serve as “Emergency Workforce” to lend a hand to the rescue and relief operations was released.
Immediate and long-term solutions to the flooding problem caused by dike damages and the need to re-channel the waterways were resolved during an emergency meeting at the Heroes Hall with the Provincial, City and Municipal Governments’ officials, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the private sector leaders who were also notable personalities during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption (Save Pampanga Movement) such as Mr. Levy Laus.

Resolutions (Quoted from the actual resolution signed)

1. Immediate re-channeling of the waterway from Gugu Creek down to San Francisco and Labuan rivers;
2. Immediate closure, thereafter, of the two breached portions of the tail dike;
3. The rehabilitation and or reconstruction of spillways 1 and 3 located in the western portion and the center of the transverse dike;
4. The revival of the waterways of the Pasig Potrero River from the upper portion of the transverse dike particularly from the Maliwalu portions;and
5. Continuing yearly allocation of the necessary funds for the maintenance of the above indicated river channels.

More help arrived as President Noynoy Aquino visited the City to distribute relief goods in Brgy. Sto. Nino. Earlier that day, Cabalen and PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan together with Team Pilipinas also visited the City.

More calls on relief operations were received by the CDRRMO. More donations and assistance also came. Updates were continuously forwarded to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of Civil Defense. Media were kept informed through ‘situationers’ and a website page was added for easy access on updates –

Sadly, at around 1:00pm, rumors of lahar flow caused panic in the City’s downtown area. This is confirmed to be a ‘false alarm.’

What we learned from this, we learned in Pinatubo, Ondoy and Sendong:

1. Power of Information. Call, text, Facebook or tweet. Listen to authorities and do not be misinformed.

2. Resiliency. This is not the first time. We should be stronger and braver.

3. Preparedness. The need for a rescue team and disaster center. We are living in “abnormal” times. Every household should also be prepared.

4. Unity. Let’s do things together.

5. Faith in God. Pray.

I admire the San Fernando Rescue Unit (SAFRU) led by Raymond del Rosario. Kayo ang tunay na “water-proof.” Special thanks to the many Fernandinos on Facebook, especially Mr. Alwyn Balingit from St. Jude, you are our ‘digital warrior.’ And to to the officials and employees of the City Government of San Fernando, number one saan man magpunta!

To the coverage team, Rudy, Rico, Errol and Pot plus the PAMPU boys Alvin, Jed, and Daniel, iba kayo!  To the rest, salamat! To my colleagues who were affected, malalampasan natin ‘to! 

Photo credits:

CSFP-CIO (Public Affairs and Media Production Unit)