Reproductive Health Bill and our Conscience

Reproductive Health bill once again gets life in the 15th Congress of the Philippines. And once again, the staunch killers of the RH Bill do all ways to once again abort it.

Do you support the Reproductive Health bill and join the calls so that the 15th Congress enact it?

It’s alright if you haven’t decided yet but as responsible Filipino citizen and faithful follower of your Church, you need to take a stand.

I already did. And I use my conscience on my decision.

We all have the moral sense of right and wrong. We all have conscience. When we get confused and find it difficult to decide, we use our conscience. A very good friend always reminds me to “follow my heart”. What he try to say is to be where my conscience is.

With my conscience, I support the Reproductive Health bill. But I am a Roman Catholic and my Church strongly opposes RH bill.

One good online article I read about Reproductive Health bill was written by Fr. Emeterio Barcelon.

Fr. Barcelon wrote:

You will certainly be disobeying the ruling of the hierarchical church but conscience is the ultimate decision maker. Disobeying might not be such a serious sin if other circumstances mitigate the fault. The Church is the guide for Catholics in moral matters. Non-Catholics should use their own conscience

I suggest you to go to Reproductive Health bill article of Fr. Barcelon in Manila Bulletin Online for additional insights.

Now, please use your conscience.

President Noynoy’s Habitual Defense to his Officials

The President has developed the (undesirable) habit of defending his erring staff.

On his sweet and sour inaugural speech, we were reading President Noynoy as someone who would do what it takes to ferret out corruption and wrongdoings. But recently, we see him as the President who do what it takes to defend his officials who are close to his heart.

Well, he also consistently and publicly criticize those who are not member of a big domain called “kaibigan, inc.”

Recently, we hear the President once again spoiled us with his sugar-coated defense to Assistant Secretary Mai Mislang. The girl whose tweets made her appear as tactless and irresponsible government servant, was well defended by President Noynoy.

In GMANews.TV reports, the President was quoted saying:

Ipinaliwanag niya sa isang sulat at pinaalala ko lang sa kanya, well, bata si Mai baka yung akala niyang gawain na simple ay hindi niya narealize ang implications. I’m more or less convinced that she realizes what was done.

Please see: Aquino won’t fire aide […]

Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno is a sure President’s pet. Puno was allegedly received jueting payola, according to an expose of retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz. When alleged-jueting man of Aquino government voiced to media that he would resign, Aquino was ready to broadcast his rhetoric chant – that Puno is entitled to undergo a due process.

Upon hearing the sugar coated words of the President, the former PAG-ASA chief flashed to my mind. Was there any due process when he [Aquino] relieved Prisco Nilo?

Please note that Nilo was not a member nor follower of new “kaibigan, inc” while Puno is the President’s close friend. Their friendship was born in the firing range according to Global Balita report that also outline why the President cannot let go the name Rico Puno.

We also remember how the President find ways to defend his “kaibigan, inc.” officials on the wake of controversial hostage crisis in Manila that involved Chinese nationals. We noticed how the President standing up to defend even to his erring officials. While it is not bad for a leader to defend his officials, Noynoy Aquino must get reminded that too much of it is undesirable.

Does the President raise his officials to become spoiled brats? Or the President simply repay those people who helped him get into office? Did he forget his sweetened battlecry, “kayo ang boss ko”? The voters brought him to office, not just his friends and supporters. That’s why I want him to allow Undersecretary Rico Puno to go out from government service because that man was dragged into jueting controversy.

Now I want to believe that the President was (aware or not) got jueting money support in the last presidential elections. I hope I am wrong.

Vote Buying, Partisan Politics

It was supposed to be non-partisan. But the recent Barangay and SK elections were practically a party politics. I wrote, Barangay Elections, Non-Partisan?

Candidates of Barangay and SK Elections ally with town’s political big bosses. Town and city political figures ally with Barangay leaders by financing candidates and ensuring victory.

Vote buying

There was massive vote buying in the recent Barangay and SK Elections. In our barangay, candidates for barangay council gave 30 pesos to 50 pesos per voter. Those who did not give lost. This scheme was also the reason why a virtually unknown person became the barangay’s new councilor. Barangay captains gave higher, from 100 pesos to 500 pesos.

In my observations, the bigger the money, the higher the chance to get victory. I have yet to know a place where the barangay and SK elections were not played up by too much and unnecessary money.

Worst SK Elections

I could say that it was the worst SK election ever at least in our barangay. It was too tricky.

Parents of one SK candidates even pawn some areas of their farms to raise P60,000 purposely for the elections. No wonder, SK voters were given some P500 to P1,000 each.

To ensure victory, they emlpoy a very clever way – the “kidnap” strategy.

What is “kidnapping” in tricky SK politics?

This is a way to keep supporters to get contact with other parties, thus the chance of shifting of support can be avoided.

For example, an SK candidate gather majority of SK voters in a place three to a day before election. Most of them brought those minors away from the barangay. For example, in Barangay Pugwan, the were brought to resorts and they stayed there until election day. Yikes! I saw the truckload of SK voters who went back to Pugwan to vote.

I was so disappointed with what happened. How could parents allow their daughters and son to stay in a secluded place with the SK candidates considering that they were all minors?

I wonder why SK elections become the “games of generals”. I could not see 17 year olds at work but the seasoned politicians.

How much you get? How much they give?

The questions before and after elections are now on how much was given and recieved than how good were the visions and programs of candidate or elected officials.

In fact these questions were asked naturally on public places – as if one was asking how much a kilo of Tamban or Pirit nowadays.

How did our shame blown away?

Barangay, SK Elections – for Better or Worse

Good politics start at home, at the neighborhood, at our barangay. In the same way, dirty politics at the way we involve in the most important political activity, the Barangay Elections.

The Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 25, 2010 defines the direction of our town, city, and provincial politics. The way we involve will either bring us reforms we love to call as good politics or worsen our situation.

Barangay Elections, Non-Partisan?

Supposedly, yes. Barangay election is a non-partisan political exercise. But to find a Barangay in the whole country where there is absence of partisan exercises is very difficult.

Candidates of Barangay and SK Elections ally with town’s political big bosses. Town and city political figures ally with Barangay leaders by financing candidates and ensuring victory.

Why are they doing this? Obviously, one’s political power is gauged based on his local allies. The more a town or city leader gets ally-barangay captains, the more he becomes powerful.

A barangay official who refuses to ally will soon get zero projects. This sounds familiar to all us. These are the sad realities.

Political Alliance at the Grassroots Level

Political alliance aren’t bad after all. However, there is something that we need to watch – what type of political alliance our barangay leaders have with our town and city leaders?

For Better or Worse, here comes again our Election

Here we are again. Since we start to count the days of 2010 until the our elected leaders took oath of office last June 30, we are all get the comforts and headaches of election drama.

Here we are again, seeing the fabulous campaign, the titillating gimmicks and the exciting campaign as joyous-dirty stage play.

Here we are again, trying to reflect whom to vote and why we vote. Will this bring us good in the next few years or will this give us long years of political sickness?

It takes one vote to answer.

Cebu’s challenge: Beat energy crisis

Next to water, electrical power is one of the critical area in an fast-growing community like Cebu. I always put water on top because it is a very basic need.

Rotating brownouts

This week, some areas in Cebu experienced power outages. Cebu Daily News reported on May 20 that the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) imposed rotating brownouts […] to cope with the power shortage. The day after, Sun.Star Cebu ran a head-turner news lead: More brownouts, DOE says.

In recent months, Cebu had experienced rotational brownout. It pained many organizations especially the small businesses.

The rotational brownout sparked the discussion on how to address the looming power crisis. Questions were raised, do we need to build more fossil-powered plant? Do we need to build nuclear power plant in Cebu?

Discussions in local media were often fruitful but most often overshadowed by talks on politics.

Multi-sectoral discussion on mitigating power crisis

Recently, in Cebu, a multi-sectoral discussion on how to beat crisis was held (April 30 at Marriott Hotel). The discussion aimed to gather key opinion and resource persons in Cebu business community and the government sector to express their views, opinions, and insights about the current energy crisis and on how we can lessen its impact.

The discussion was initiated by Schneider Electric represented by Philippe Reveilhac, country president of the company in the Philippines. Schneider Electric spearheaded the discussion to actively involved in informing and educating consumers and business community on the importance of energy efficiency and management as viable tool to lessen the impact of energy crisis.

Among the participants were representatives from various groups, sectors, and companies – most notable were, Nestor Archival who represented the Cebu City Council; Wilson Ng of Mandaue Chamber of Commerce; Dondi Joseph of Cebu Business Club; Carlos Co of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

Adequate power supply in Cebu

Cebu power has stabilized! Although I mentioned earlier that there was power outages last week, it was relatively small compared to power outages in the last quarter of 2009 and early weeks of the first quarter in 2010.

In February 2010, Manila Bulletin report, the Department of Energy (DoE) in Region 7 announced the full operation of Unit I of the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) coal-fired power plant in Toledo City, which has a power generation capacity of 82 megawatts (MW) could stabilize the Cebu energy requirement. True enough! Other power plants are on the final stage of development and would contribute additional power to Cebu.

This is a good news to every Cebuano. However, the looming energy crisis has not faded away. From 2010 to the next five years, Cebu can be assured of adequate power supply. However, considering Cebu’s growth rate, it is projected that another power plants must be operational in 2015.

The crucial role of the government

During the Schneider Electric-led multi-sectoral discussion, participants agree that the government has crucial role in mitigating the power shortages. Cebu City councilor Nestor Archival informed that the city actually lay out some plans on power sourcing and on spearheading campaign to save power.

The use of solar-powered street lamps was mentioned. In my recent vacation in Mindanao, I saw a number of solar-powered street lights. It’s a good project because have them means less cost on the part of the government. And environment-friendly, too! Mindanao is largely powered by hydro-power – so it must be friendly to environment.

The utilization of whatever renewable energy is one of the best move so that we lessen our heavy reliance on fossil-powered plants.

This is the point that I would like to give emphasis. While there is an effort on the part of the government and the private investors to source for additional power supply (like building more power plants), an active participation among residential and industrial users is also a crucial factor. Power end-users must learn to save!

I am not sure if the government requires building and other edifices to implement power-saving designs and architecture. I believe the government encourages that. In addition to this, the government might also implement reward system to those institutions, government units or companies that implement effective power-saving designs or programs. These important points were discussed by participants.

Synchronize efforts

All sectors in the community need to synchronize efforts to better manage energy. There must be an active participation among institutions down to the grassroots level. Yes, energy management is not the sole responsibility of the the power providers and the government but also a responsibility of the smallest energy user.

Just imagine if all families in Cebu know how to effectively use electricity and conserve power, perhaps we could save several tons of coal each year.

How would you effectively use electricity at home? Do you exert some efforts to save some watts at home?

I join Cebu Blog Camp 2010

I’ll join the Cebu Blog Camp 2010! That will be on Saturday, May 22, 2010 at CAP Auditorium, Cebu City.

Since I started blogging, I always take the opportunity to take part on building strong blogging communities. Blogging for me is not only an online activity but an opportunity to build friendship, to learn, and to express in many ways (not only limited to online stuff).

Cebu Blog Camp 2010 is expected to be the largest gathering of bloggers in Cebu. It is not only a greet-and-meet gathering because prominent bloggers are expected to join and share valuable insights and experiences.

As posted in Cebu Blog Camp 2010 website:

Cebu Blog Camp is an event that focuses on honing the skills of bloggers offline. This event will gather a large number of bloggers all over Cebu to discuss the latest developments on the Web, Search engines, and making money online.

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Gabii sa Kabilin (Night of Heritage): An invitation to rediscover Cebu

Cebuanos and tourists are invited to rediscover Cebu’s rich culture and history on the Night of Heritage or Gabii sa Kabilin. Bring along your family and friends and take a tour to nine museums/heritage structure in Cebu City that are open from 6 PM to midnight on Gabii sa Kabilin, Friday, May 28, 2010. To give you unique experience, you can even ride a tartanilla and experience Cebu’s colourful past!

9 museums/heritage structures on a special Friday night

This year’s Gabii sa Kabilin is expected to bring more colors and valuable experience to visitors as nine Cebu museums/heritage structures join. These are: Casa Gorordo Museum along 35 Lopez Jaena Street, the Cathedral Museum of Cebu and Basilica del Santo Niño Museum on P. Burgos Street, Fort San Pedro in Plaza Independencia, the Yap-Sandiego ancestral house on the corner of Mabini and Lopez Jaena Streets, Museo Sugbo on M.J. Cuenco Street, 1730 Jesuit House along Zulueta Street, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) – Rizal Museum on Mabini Street, and Sacred Heart Parish along Jakosalem Street.

What to experience?

You can revisit Cebu’s past by going on a walking tour to the museums. To take a glimpse of religious relics and old statues and images, visit the Cathedral Museum of Cebu and the Basilica del Santo Niño Museum.

In Casa Gorordo Museum, you can learn how Cebuanos live during the Spaniard’s long stay in the Philippines. The Yap Sandiego House and the 1730 Jesuit House in the old Parian district take you back to the unique colonial architecture.

The USPF-Rizal Museum rich Rizaliana collection offers you with interesting things about Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero. Beautiful contemporary paintings of Cebu’s artists are showcased at Sacred Heart Parish museum.

Another interesting highlights on Gabii sa Kabilin is your opportunity to listen to traditional Cebuano love poetry and music by local performers or watch dance performances by the Sandiego Dance Company and other dance troupes. You can also watch reenactments of Rizal’s last moments as well as award-winning indie films.

Parada or tartanilla rides are offered at between Fort San Pedro and Basilica del Sto. Nino Museum. Mini-buses are offered from Museo Sugbo, Fort San Pedro and Sacred Heart Parish.

We would also like to offer our guests a chance to ride the calesa or tartanilla (parada), a mode of transportation at the turn of 19th century as they move around from museum to museum. We also encourage people to dress in period costumes for the event, said Dr. Joy Gerra, Executive Director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Cultural Heritage Program.

Cebuano food and delicacies as well as Cebuano arts and crafts will be showcased and sold at certain venues.

To give you a quick view on Gabii sa Kabilin, visit Leylander’s My Cebu Photo Blog (MCPB) for the Gabii sa Kabilin 2009 pictures.

How to take part on this unique heritage tour

To be a part of this one-of-a-kind experience, get your Gabii sa Kabilin tickets at the respective participating museums for P100 per person (please see contact information on the list of participating museum below). Ask any of the tartanillas to bring you to Fort San Pedro and Basilica del Sto. Nino Museum for only P50.00 per person.

Quick facts on 9 participating museum/heritage structure

Casa Gorordo Museum
35 Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City
(032) 418-7234 loc. 532
Website: http://www.rafi.org.ph
Description/Collection: Lifestyle Museum

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Corner Mabini & Lopez Jaena Streets
(032) 515-9000
Description/Collection: Lifestyle Museum/Private Residence

Cathedral Museum of Cebu
P. Burgos Street
(032) 412-3455
Website: http://www.cathedralmusuem.com
Description/Collection: Ecclesiastical Museum

Basilica del Santo Niño Museum
P. Burgos Street
(032) 255-6699 loc. 602
Description/Collection: Ecclesiastical Museum

Fort San Pedro
Plaza Independencia
(032) 256-2284, 416-7080
Description/Collection: Heritage Structure

Museo Sugbo
M.J. Cuenco Street, Cebu City
(032) 516-2128
Description/Collection: History of Cebu Province, National Museum, National Historical Institute Museum

1730 Jesuit House
Zulueta Street, Cebu City
(032) 255-5408, 255-5409
Description/Collection: Heritage Structure

University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF)-Rizal Museum
Mabini Street, Cebu City
Description/Collection: Rizaliana Collection

Sacred Heart Parish
Jakosalem Street, Cebu City
(032) 253-6479 local 114
Description/Collection: Art Gallery

Gabii sa Kabilin takes its inspiration from the long night of the museum in Germany and other European countries. It is also the culmination of the International Museum Day (May 18) and the Philippine National Heritage Month (May) celebrations.

Organized by RAFI in partnership with the Visayas Association of Museums and Galleries Inc. (VAMGI), Gabii sa Kabilin is the only museum and cultural event of its kind in the Philippines and Asia.

This annual summer activity began on May 25, 2007 with four Cebu City museums/heritage structure—Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Basilica del Santo Niño Museum, and Fort San Pedro.