Freedom Today

This year’s 114th Independence Day Anniversary carries the theme “Pananagutan ng Bayan Para sa Tuwid na Daan” is a strong indication that the present government is exerting a lot of effort in cleaning up the mess caused by corrupt officials of some government institutions.

Today, ‘freedom’ is a term misused by many. (I consider it second to “love” in terms of being overused and misunderstood). It has become the people’s free pass to do or say whatever they want, i.e. freedom of the press, freedom of information, freedom of expression, etc.

A Pinoy pop icon whom I consider as the perfect epitome of ‘Freedom of Expression’ would be Carlos Celdran. Of course, his “Damaso” is one of his most controversial stunt. He is also known for his Imelda Tours and his promotion of the RH Bill.

I strongly support his campaign against the construction of an ‘eyesore’ near the Rizal Park in Manila. DMCI’s Torre de Manila (prospective below) will obviously destroy the park’s skyline.

For Carlos, that’s freedom put to good use.

For netizens, do the same.

PS. Cheers to my co-anchor Vallie. It was fun hosting City of San Fernando’s Independence Day Celebration with you for the second consecutive year.




Some reactions after the Pacquiao-Bradley fight:

Unbelievable! #PacBradley This is another stain on boxing. Even worse than my draw with Holyfield! #Disgraceful (@LennoxLewis)


ANCALERTS: Boxing analysts, fans express shock over#PacBradley fight, with many expecting a Pacquiao win (@ANCAlerts)

Why did MannyPacquiao get a bad decision?Cuz boxing is a business.If he wins, who does he fight next? If he losses , rematch. BOB ARUM wins (@ricorobles)

Why we’ve gone mad:

Some interesting images from Facebook friends:


#No Hermes

Pacquiao: I believe that I won the fight. #PacBradley

Chavit: “..kahit si Bradley, alam niyang TALO siya”

And from the Deputy Presidential Spokesperson:
Si Manny pa rin ang nag-iisa at ipinagmamalaking Pambansang Kamao ng sambayanang Pilipino. 

Oh well,

Photos from: Everyday-FB, Ken-Ken and Showbiz Government (all tagged images)

Mixed feelings on Bayo’s “What’s Your Mix?” ad

Today on my way to work, I heard the fuss about Bayo’s new ad campaign on Magic’s equally controversial morning show Good Times. I immediately went online and surfed for the ad they were talking about and Google led me to Rappler’s site and here’s the copy of the said ad with Jasmine Curtis-Smith:

Comments from the internet and social networks described it as ‘racist.’ Also included in the campaign set are the ad copies that say “40% British and 60% Filipino” with Margo Midwinter striking a pose. The rest of the ads are now viral.

Personally, I found the ad really interesting. The advertising agency who conceptualized this (or Bayo itself) was creative enough to get the attention of the potential market for their clothing line because Filipinos with so-called ‘mixed blood’ are now gaining massive popularity in talent shows and other fields worldwide. (Hello to Charice and Jessica. Good luck Manny!)

On the other hand, I felt irked by the supporting statement of the ad that goes:
Call it biased, but the mixing and matching of different nationalities with Filipino blood is almost a sure formula for someone beautiful and world class.”

Can we not be ‘pure-blooded’ Filipinos in order to be considered beautiful and world class? I may be looking at the ad copy in a different point of view, but this also received a lot of criticisms from netizens. Having a mix of nationalities is not the sole formula to become successful or globally recognized.

I can’t seem to ‘mix and match’ my opinion on this. But one thing is for sure, I’m back to blogging, and I hope to enjoy the new mix of my ideas on pop culture.

PS. This is Earl P. Tongol, 100% Filipino.

No miracle this time

There is a significant lack of maturity among voters in Pampanga. Disappointment enveloped my excitement as a first-time voter during the country’s first automated elections because provincial and district posts here in our area is dominated by dark forces. Indeed, Kapampangans are far from learning what ‘good governance’ is all about, and what real ‘public service’ looks like. In fact, many cannot distinguish what is right from what is wrong. Yet again, there is hope.

COMELEC deserves a round of applause for pushing through with its plan of “PCOSizing” the whole nation. Depsite of some inefficiencies, failure to remove Acosta and putting an action star on the no. 8 spot in the senatoriables (obviously unfair), I guess Filipinos are already satisfied with Commissioner Larrazabal’s good looks plus a bit of those “may bilog na hugis itlog” dancers on television.

As a government employee, I wasn’t able to directly help in campaigning for my bet. Although I show my support as part of the yellow army, I remained silent. But my entry to government service is very timely. Being inside the political system allows you to be acquainted further with those running for office.

Eleksyon vs Halalan
By 8:00 am of May 10, the tip of my pointer finger was already marked with indelible ink and I already voted for the future leaders of this country. Upon reaching home, I tuned in for updates. I can’t help but express my awe with this year’s coverage of local television networks. The Iron Man-like 3D graphics plus GMA 7’s hologram made the day even more historic. I love the Collezione polo shirts of ABS-CBN reporters. I find GMA’s blazers a bit off-season.

Pampanga and the next three years
And so Arroyo is now congresswoman, and new leaders are handling the coffers of a rich province. No one knows what would happen in the next three years. Being part of the huge team that runs the capital of Pampanga, I am hopeful that something good will come (since the anti-corruption czar won as president) and, as my best friend always says – Everything will be OK.

Earth Day, Starbucks and Climate Change

starbucks-earth-dayI opened my planner last April 22 and the date says Earth Day. It was a very typical office day and I never cared much about what the world was celebrating. Of course, I noticed the Google and Yahoo themes which were related to Earth Day (I’m  not stoic!). At around five o’clock, my officemate Joven announced that Starbucks will slash off Php 40 from the price of your drink if you bring with you your Starbucks tumbler.  It was then that I started to love Earth Day. I went straight to the nearest Starbucks branch together with my friends Japhet and Hizza. Armed with our own tumblers, my friends and I ordered our favorite fraps and happily savoured our discounts.

On my way home, it was raining cats and dogs. It felt like it was already the rainy season during the time when the country should be experiencing the peak of summer. From time to time, I check out PAGASA’s website (yes, I do!) just to see if there is a storm (other than that oh-so-popular inter tropical convergence zone… I love saying that!). There’s none. I am alarmed by the recent weather changes.

Now is the time to take Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ very seriously. I remember my professor in Ecology noting Gore’s data and saying that the current weather changes are sort of ‘defense mechanism’ of Mother Earth. And yes, it is. Mother Earth is defending herself from destruction, and her reaction is ‘climate change.’

Thanks to Earth Day, I got Php 40 off my Java Chip Frap. Aside from that, this made me realize that I should support brands that are going ‘green’ and help in long-term efforts to save our planet.

A Truckload of Stupidity

This is about “Ordinance 261 (An Ordinance Regulating the Hauling and Transporting of Sand, Gravel, and other Quarry Materials), which aims to prevent commercial quarry trucks from overloading sand by instituting measures like reducing truck height, removal of truck axle, among others.”

Quarrying has been a big issue for the people of Pampanga. The quarry business became a big hit since Pinatubo erupted. Billions of pesos are earned by the provincial government because of the said activity, and now, everyone wants a piece of the expensive cake!

Even before the assumption of Ordinance 261, many politicians have been bullying governor-elect Ed Panlilio. The wrath of greedy Kapampangans who are hungry for power and money do everything they can to oust the provincial head. Fr. Ed doesn’t lack leadership qualities. Instead, he doesn’t have that ‘Pinoy politician (trapo)’ factor – corrupt and evil.

Obviously, the ordinance is for the good of all. With its implementation, roads will not be battered, accidents will be prevented, and quarry activity shall be regulated. But the minds of the people against the good government of Fr. Ed aren’t in favor of something that will benefit the Kapampangan people. Backed-up by powerful groups (who are craving to get their share of money from the people’s fund), these truck drivers made a fool out of themselves (they reached the point of banging the door of the governor’s office and conducting nonsense protests since last year).

2010 is fast approaching. Isn’t it clear that old politicians are just pushing the limits to regain control of the Capitol and use the billions of money saved by the present governor to run their campaign machinery? In 2007, Kapampangans were so proud of choosing Fr. Ed over a movie star and a gambling lord. Now, the people should be enlightened regarding the situation.

There may be flaws in the leadership of the priest-turned-governor, but what is the use of protests? What can we get from biased dialogues? Let the governor finish his term and let ‘common sense’ reign.

It’s all in the ‘hood’

Whether you spell it as “h-o-o-d-i-e” or “h-o-o-d-y,” this kind of jacket is worn by every kid in town (oops, even adults). Did the recent changes in weather radically turned the Philippines into an ice-cold country? – definitely not. Boys and girls who strut the outfit joined the craze since early 2008 until today.

young-hooded-male-thumb5172625I have two hoodies (with emphasis on the plural form). Both were gifts from friends. When the ‘hoodies fever’ arrived, I surely didn’t want to embark on a fashion adjustment. In fact, I didn’t know if it’ll look good on me or not. When I started to feel the chilling breeze of the ‘ber’ season, I thought I needed a hoodie.  Trusting my friends’ fashion tastes, I started wearing hoodies. Alright, it’s cold, and I need to look a little buff, so putting on a hoodie meant a lot. One thing I can’t grasp is the thing about the hood itself (except for the fact that it’ll not be called a hoodie without the hood).

After a little online research, I found out that this sort of fashion trend started in the 1930’s. Hoodies also remind me of hip-hop as well as shoplifters who want to conceal their faces. Short for ‘hooded sweatshirt,’ wearing these is now considered as one hell of a fad!

For as long as it serves its purpose, I’ll continue wearing hoodies.

Photo credit:

About Trees and November Stuff

About Trees

06-05-30_3771The volume of vehicles along McArthur highway’s San Fernando strip is getting heavier each day. Aside from annoying passenger jeepneys, the number of reckless motorcycle drivers and big speedy trucks is increasing, too. Although I am so pessimistic about the current road situation, I still see a little spark of hope. One solution: cut down trees! Okay, so a lot of locals are having second thoughts on killing the decades-old acacias bordering the San Fernando-Angeles City stretch of McArthur Highway. But human lives are more important than Joyce Kilmer’s poem right?

At first, I didn’t get the point of removing the trees. When I was a kid really loved passing along the highway and appreciate the greenery. But through the years, two lanes are not enough to accommodate vehicles passing through McArthur Highway. Now that I am one of the daily motorists traversing this highway, I realized how dangerous these trees are. From the local news I heard that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is planning to widen the road but the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) is blocking this plan. DPWH has to remove all the trees so they can add two additional lanes. I feel the need for a wider road because the area is becoming more accident-prone. The number of vehicles doubled since its last extensive widening (APEC 1996 if I’m not mistaken).

My idea is to create a park similar to central park in Manhattan (oh! I smell Sex and the City) and let McArthur Highway serve its purpose – a safe and accessible haven for motorists.

November Stuff

Here’s a recap of my November:
– I express my disgust over the 2009 Starbucks planner
– Last November 16, we already turned our Christmas lights on signalling the start of the holidays (and the increase of our electric bill). I love my new Supernova phone.
– Special thanks to my new companion vis-a-vis driving instructor, Butch Ortiz
– I’m excited about the launching of “Cradle” magazine
– 2 “Ferrari” keychains to go before I complete the set of Shell’s cool collectibles!

(Photo of McArthur Highway taken from