Monthly Archives: July 2005

What does my birthday mean?

I stumbled upon this from another’s blog. I don’t know if this is true…

Your Birthdate: December 26
Your birth on the 26th day of the month (8 energy) modifies your life by increasing your capability to function and succeed in the business world.

In this environment you have the skills to work very well with others thanks to the 2 and 6 energies combining in this date.

There is a marked increase in organizational, managerial, and administrative abilities.

You are efficient and handle money very well.

You’re ambitious and energetic, while generally remaining cooperative and adaptable.

You are conscientious and not afraid of responsibility.

Generally sociable and diplomatic, you tend to use persuasion rather than force.

You have a wonderful combination of being good at both the broad strokes and the fine detail; good at starting and continuing. This birthday is practical and realistic, often seeking material satisfaction.



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St. Ignatius of Loyola, Soldier of Christ

SUSCIPE, Domine, universam meam libertatem. Accipe memoriam, intellectum, atque voluntatem omnem. Quidquid habeo vel possideo mihi largitus es; id tibi totum restituo, ac tuae prorsus voluntati trado gubernandum. Amorem tui solum cum gratia tua mihi dones, et dives sum satis, hec aliud quidquam ultra posco. Amen.

TAKE, O Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. Thou hast given me all that I am and all that I possess: I surrender it all to Thee that Thou mayest dispose of it according to Thy will. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will have no more to desire. Amen.

-St. Ignatius of Loyola

Today is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. You can read more about his life here.

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Best Friends

The term “best” logically points to only one.

But why do we have a lot of “best friends?” That thought had just ocurred to me when a “best friend” just called me a few days ago to tell me that he just got out of the seminary (no, he just took his vows) after two years of being cloistered and now, he’ll be staying in a place where I can readily “access” him again…

It get’s better. He’s now a Jesuit Brother and I’ve seen him deliver a “sharing” in a noon mass last Tuesday. My, how he has become “better.”

During the two years that he was “in,” he was not aware of what I’ve been through until a few months back. Hence, he was not around when I needed him the most…

For that, I had my other “best friend” who ironically migrated to Davao a few months back.

With this, I’m just thinking. What a wonderful God we have! He has NEVER let me (or us) down. When I lost my “best friend” to Davao, He gave me back my other “best friend.” And I think, He NEVER WILL.

And with this, I now realize that there can never be one “best friend.”

Oxymoronic. Illogical. But I’ll take it.



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Something to break the seriousness…

For once I want to blog about something less than serious. For a change, let’s not talk about what is happening in this country, in my professional life (though, I must say, I’m handling one of the biggest cases of my life right now…but more about that some other time…) or about my personal life. Well, at least for this entry…

So let’s break the apparent seriousness of this blog with, of all things, a lawyer joke.

Once, there was this lawyer who won his first big case and hence, his first big payoff. So he bought the things that he could not afford to buy then.

Finally, he bought the car of his dreams, a BMW Z4.

As he was taking the car out for a spin, his inexperience in these cars must have caught up with him so he slammed that magnificent vehicle into the wall. Miraculously, he survived, but his wrist was severely severed and his car was totalled.

As he got out he fell to his knees shouting, “My car! My beautiful car…”

“Hey Mister!” the paramedic shouted. “How can you worry about your car when your hand was almost severed from your arm?”

“Oh no!” the lawyer screamed. “My ROLEX!”

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So here’s the way our President would do it, at the rate she’s going and all for her political survival:

1. For EDSA I: Allow FM to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes) in Fort Bonifacio.

2. For EDSA II & III: Grant amnesty/pardon to JEE on the principle of in pari delicto.

If I follow this logic to absurdity, might as well free all the criminals and grant a general amnesty to all those with pending cases in court, just to “clean the slate” so to speak.

Even us lawyers still have principles. To me, healing the wounds does not mean selling out these principles just for political expediency or survival.

And that’s the basic problem in Philippine society today. The Philippines has become a culture of compromise, of “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” Be it in court (where we encourage settlement because of our “creeping” justice system), in politics (I’ll give you this committee in exchange for two minor committees…) and in life in general (I’m sorry to have run over someone’s child. Is there any way we can just “settle” this?), we have wallowed in this culture of smooth interpersonal relationships, of pakikisama.

I say let’s bring back principles into our culture. Sure, it’s not bad to compromise or settle, but only to a certain extent. There should still be a set of “non-negotiables.”

Where do we start? What are these non-negotiables?

Try “right” and “wrong” for starters.


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Now you’re talking!

The President is presently giving a press conference today. I think she’s filling in the gaps of her State of the Nation Address, filling in the details of her “Phase 2” and somehow downplaying “Phase 3”

Seems that she’s heeding our calls. Now she’s not playing to the gallery (ala “Braveheart”…) but to those outside…

Of course, she gives the first question to NBN’s Rocky Ignacio. She states she’s not a “dramatic president” but a “hardworking” one. And now she’s saying she’ll not be a “hands-on” President anymore but instead concentrate on working for a change in political system.

She has asked her executive “consultative constitutional commission” to propose changes to the constitution, and names one member already, Professor Abueva.

She then takes questions from, you guessed it, the government radio station reporter, asking about her relationship with Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos. A non-responsive answer…

Then on to Paolo Romero of the Philippine Star, stating she was merely stating an opinion that the Constitution has to be changed, but still leaves the details thereon to the correct body to tackle it.

Next, Milky Rigonan of DZRH, asking about the Cabinet 10. Now she states that crisis will still continue until the political system has been changed, and has kind words for her daughter, Luli, but neither confirms nor denies formally meeting former First Lady Imelda Marcos, but admits “bumping into her.”

Sorry, a client called, I didn’t catch the rest…

“Not because I’m worthy but because God is good…”

Now she’s talking about federalism and charter change, saying that it has always been part of her agenda. And has vowed not to answer any more allegations from the opposition.

Next, Lilia Tolentino of Pilipino Star. Now she says she will submit the 2006 Budget proposal next month, of about P1 trillion. But she’s not afraid that it would not pass on time because of the re-enactment provision in the Constitution.

Finally, Fel Maragay of Manila Standard Today(?). She’s peculiarly speaking of a “body” that will amend Constitution, not “Assembly” or “Convention.” Is she back-tracking from her “con-ass” opinion?

So, how am I as a play-by-play reporter?


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Something to really clap about…

One of the things the gallery should clap about during the President’s State of the Nation Address is the passage of Executive Order No. 358

It reads:






WHEREAS, the agenda of this administration prioritizes the creation of six to ten million jobs and the expansion of youth opportunities.

WHEREAS, the present compartmentalization of TVET and HE hinders the recognition and accreditation of competence in technical-vocational skills HE and vice-versa:

NOW THEREFORE I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, doe hereby order the following:

SECTION 1. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) AND The commission on Higher Education (CHED) in consultation with the concerned sectors and stakeholders shall develop and implement a unified national qualifications framework that establishes equivalency pathways and access ramps for a ladderized system allowing for easier transitions and progressions between TVET and HE.

SECTION 2. The framework shall include as far as practicable but no limited to, the following unified qualification and articulation mechanisms: National System of Credit Transfer, Post-TVET Bridging Programs, System of Enhanced Equivalency. Adoption of Ladderized Curricula/Programs, Modularized Program Approach, Competency-Based Programs, Network of Dual-Sector Colleges or Universities, Accreditation Recognition of Prior Learning.

SECTION 3. The Professional Regulatory Commission, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Budget and Management shall extend to the TESDA and CHED the necessary support in the operationalization of unified national qualifications framework to be developed and implemented. Likewise, other agencies both in the public and private sectors, including non-governmental organizations, business groups, professional associations and similar entities both foreign and local may be tapped for consultations.

SECTION 4. To ensure efficient and effective implementation. TESDA and CHED shall organize from their present staff complements a permanent Technical Secretariat. The Secretariat may contract the services of technical experts and authorities on relevant areas of concern such as equivalencies, accreditation, curriculum development, educational measurement and testing.

SECTION 5. TESDA and CHED shall ensure that the system, implementing mechanism, policies, guidelines and other necessary procedures and documentation are completed within six (6) months from the issuance of this Executive Order. In addition, ninety (90) days after the completion and adoption of the system, the two agencies shall oversee the nationwide implementation of the framework in identified program areas and in selected or identified TVET and HE institutions. The equivalency pathways and access ramps shall provide for the transferability and or recognition, interface of credits, coursework and competencies between institutions.

SECTION 6. TESDA and CHED shall jointly implement national piot programs based on the system to be developed in order to determine its fitness of purpose and relevance in the tertiary education sector and with the view of expanding the number and coverage of course involving TVET providers and HE institutions.

SECTION 7. TESAD and CHED shall ensure regular and effective communication and feedback on the progress and accomplishments with respect to the implementation of this Executive Order.

SECTION 8. The amount necessary for the development of the system shall source from the budgets and development funds of TESA and CHED.

Both agencies are authorized to create special accounts for the purpose of implementing the system and the provisions of this Executive Order.

As additional funding source, TESDA and CHED may tap international funding agencies for donations and grants.

SECTION 9. If any provision of the Executive Order shall be held unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions shall remain effective.

SECTION 10. All orders, issuances, rules and regulations or p arts thereof inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SECTION 11. this Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

DONE in the City of Manila this 15th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and four.


By the President:

Executive Secretary

Simply put, as the President stated in her SONA, she has ordered the Technology Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) to coordinate “so that hours spent in vocational training can be credited towards a college degree.”

This should be welcome news for people who aspire to be better prepared and better skilled coming into the job market (to most people, the international job market).

This should have been better applauded, as this spells a more concrete step the President has undertaken to better the lives of the Filipinos.

Instead, she rattled of on charter change and federalism. Better, but hallow reception, indeed.

But wait a minute! This Executive Order was signed last September 2004. How far are we in its implementation. Or is TESDA still busy issuing ARBs to Filipino entertainers? Or is the CHED still busy approving tuition fare hikes?


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