Game of the Generals

The tragic incident at Eton Condominium and the 50th birthday celebration of the Pimp, Willie Revillame yesterday may have overshadowed this news so let me remind you of this important issue.

Our money was stolen (yes, you taxpayer and ordinary Juan included), and some iron-balled Generals were allegedly behind it. Or shall I say utak bayag Generals. Well, they are just one and the same on my dictionary.

After the major shame about former military comptroller General Calos Gracia’s alleged embezzlement of the military funds and an alleged plea bargain agreement, here comes another major shame from men with balls and rifles.

Retired Colonel George Rabusa disclosed yesterday in Senate how he and his ex-bosses amassed wealth, with large portions taken from the soldiers’ salaries.

“At sa’yong paglisan, ang tanging pabaon ko, ay 50 million..”

Robusa said that the 50 million was a send-off gift to then-General Angelo Reyes when he retired from service in 2001. He also said that they have to convert it to dollars because it was very bulky.

What a cool pabaon for a retirement, eh? Millions of Filipinos are struggling to get their (full) benefits after retirement – and some have none – yet these military men are enjoying a huge amount of money? Talk about corruption and inequality.

It also sucks to know that they have converted it to dollars because it was too bulky (Why didn’t Erap think of this method to hide the jueteng payola back in the day?). With this amount of money converted to dollars, it would be easier for these men to hide it under different, unsuspecting accounts. Was this method included in the PMA curriculum? I don’t think so.

Fucked Up Tradition

Robusa also told the Senate that the distribution of this huge amounts was a tradition at the Armed Forces. “It was there when we got there. We inherited it from thise who came before us”, he said.

Stupid traditions are stupid. While the rest of the Filipinos are succumbed in poverty, without food, without basic services from the government, here are our men with balls and guns, maintaining this ancient tradition. I am now wondering if they also have this kind of tradition at the PMA where the lower class men would give something to their graduating comrades at the academy. What do you think?

Selective Amnesia

Government officials and famous personalities, even ordinary people, are often diagnosed with this sickness when interrogated. Or was the deed too evil that they resorted to burying them on the subconscious part of their brain?

Yesterday’s hearing was full of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t remembers”.

“I can’t remember” – Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of Staff Angelo Reyes’s response whether he received a 50 million-pesopabaon or not.

“I cannot recall going there every month. We go there occasionally..” – Former Military Comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot said that he cannot remember whether he accompanied Rabusa to deliver a 50-million pabaon or not.

I have a suggestion. The next time Star cinema will produce a movie as a sequel to My Amnesia Girl – My Amnesia Men would be the title perhaps – these men would fit perfectly for the role. Hindi na kailangan mag-audition at workshop. Lead stars na kaagad.

__________________

These men, these trusted men, who took an oath to serve and protect the people and the country, are the ones who are causing another shame for the Military. And they are not just ordinary men, they are the big boss, the ones with estrella on their shoulders, the men on top of the military hierarchy.

If this corruption can be done on top, I will no longer be surprised if this evil act is also done by the Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants.

This is the Game of the Generals. And in a game, the high ranking officials kill those who have lower ranks than them. In this case, the high-ranking officials deprive the ordinary soldiers on what is due to them.

This is the Game of the Generals. If only we have spies to kill these generals just like in the famous board game invented by a Filipino.

Let’s fix this mess before our flag is captured.

Photo and news source: Philippine Daily Inquirer. Click the photo to read the whole news on their Webpage.

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Finding My Way Back Home

24 January 2011

Bisperas kahapon ng Kapistahan ng Patron ng Seminaryo namin, si San Francisco de Sales, Patron Saing of Writers and Journalists. Sumama ako sa mga Magulang ko sa Seminaryo sa Marawoy, Lipa City para dalawain ang kapatid ko at para na rin bumisita sa lugar na itinuring kong tahanan sa loob ng walong (8) taon.

Nakakatuwang isipin na parang nagbalik sa akin ang mga ala-ala ng masasaya, malungkot, nakakatuwa, nakakaaiyak na samahan naming mga seminarista at ang buhay seminaryo. Habang tinitingnan ko ang bawat sulok, ang bawat kuwarto, ang bawat lugar, nagbabalik ang ilang mga pangyayari sa aking buhay na kailanman ay hindi ko makakalimutan at babaunin hanggang sa aking pagtanda.

Nakita ko din ang mga dati kong kasamahan (pero mas madami na ngayon ang mga seminaristang hindi ko na kakilala. Tumatanda na ako at madami na ang bago), nagkaroon ng maikling kuwentuhan, tawanan, at pagbibigay ng payo sa mga graduating na Seminarista (“basta’t huwag niyo ng gagawin ang mga kamalian ko na ginawa ko”). Nakasalubong ko din ang mga superior/ formator kong mga Prayle (na masama yata ang tingin sa akin dahil naka-shorts ako kanina. Naka-pantalon kasi dapat ang mga seminarista.)

Nakasalubong ko yung Rector ko na hanga pa (din) daw sa mga isinusulat ko sa aking blog. Ang rector ko na itinuturing kong ninong, tatay, kaibigan. Ang nagtuwid sa baliko kong pananaw at buhay. Ang isa sa mga huling tao na nagtiwala at naniwala pa din sa akin sa kabila ng aking personalidad, mga nagawa, at idealismong salungat sa itinuturung ng marami na tama at angkop.

Pagkatapos ay nanood ako ng palaro ng mga Seminarista. Kasama ang lahat ng mga departamento – mula High School hanggang Theology. Nakakatuwang panoorin na halos walang pinagbago ang saya, tawanan, at balyahan ng mga seminarista sa loob ng basketball court. Nakaka-miss ang ganoong mga pangyayari.

Sa gitna ng aking pagmumuni-muni, tinanong ako ng Nanay ko:

“Na-mi-miss mo na ba ang buhay Seminaryo?, seryoso niyang tanong.

“Hindi! Ang sarap ng buhay ko ngayon eh..”, ang sinungaling kong sagot. Sabay ngiti at tumalikod sa Nanay ko.

Nagsisinungaling ako kung sabihin kong hindi ko nami-miss ang buhay seminaryo. Masarap ang buhay sa loob kahit na madami ang hindi nakakaintindi kung paani kaming tumatagal sa ganoong buhay. Walang cellphone, nakakulong, walang babae, at kung anu-ano pang “wala” na meron sa labas ng seminaryo.

Pero kailangan kong mamili. Kailangang timbangin ang mga bagay-bagay. Sa ngayon, ayokong bumalik sa seminaryo ng ” hinog sa pilit”. Ayokong ma-kompromiso ang aking bokasyon, kasama na ang mga taong aking paglilingkuran, kung pipilitin ko ang sarili ko na mag-pari. May bagay na angkop lamang sa tamang panahon. At sa aking pananaw, hindi pa ngayon ang tamang panahon para doon.

Kaya kahit due ako na bumalik ngayong June 2011, hindi muna ako babalik.

Madami pa akong dapat ayusin sa aking sarili at sa aking buhay dito sa labas ng seminaryo. Mga bagay na hindi maaaring ipilit, mga bagay na hindi maaaring madaliin.

Pero kung sakali mang bumalik ako, alam kong meron pa rin akong babalikan. Dahil sabi nga ni Naruto kay Saske, ang tahanan na iyong babalikan ay iyong lugar kung saan may nagmamahal sa iyo.

Kapistahan ngayon ng Patron natin. Maligayang Pista mga Anakiko! Maligayang kapistahan San Francisco de Sales. Padayon!

Anakiko ang tawag sa mga seminarista ng aming seminaryo. Anakiko – o “Mga Anak ni Kiko” – bilang mga seminarista sa ilalim ng gabay ni San Francisco de Sales.

Guess who’s wearing my The Heads Set T-shirt?

Last September, I got my first paycheck from the Publishing Company where I work as an editor. And since I learned about the Eraserheads: The Head Set last March (when rumors began to spread like wildfire on the internet), I made a vow to myself to allot a portion of my paycheck for the box set – no matter how expensive it would cost me.

The Box Set was released on September 9 – and I still haven’t received my paycheck. I was in panic. Since the set is limited, I feared that I will not be able to buy myself a copy. I also feared that the box set will not be available here in the Southern Luzon area (you know, some music materials are just too Metro Manila-centered).

I received my paycheck by mid-September and the first thing that I did was to go to the nearest (and only) Greenwich here in Los Baños. I asked the crew if they have the Heads Set. And the rest was months of nostalgia, rockin’ with the Eraserheads.

As most of you who have the Heads Set, the box includes a coffee table book/ lyric sheet/ photo album (I don’t know how to exactly call it), complete albums, EPs, and a DVD, and the Heads Set Shirt.

Now, the Heads Shirt came in free-size-one-size-fits-all-that’s-a-fuckin’-fashion-discrimination!  And if you who know me personally, you know that that shirt will not fit me – and I rarely wear body fits (bakat ang man-boobs pare!). So I decided to just hang it in my room for art’s sake, for bragging, and for future self-centered consumption (I just love to use that word).

Months went by and the shirt still hangs in my room. One day, my Nanay entered the room and asked me: “Aanhin mo yan kung hindi mo isusuot? Sayang lang ang Pho 2, 500 mo.”

Jokingly, I replied “Kapag pumayat ako, maisusuot ko na yan”.

“Ipahiram mo na lang muna sa akin. Ako ang magsusuot.”, she replied.

At first, I was taken aback. My Nanay will wear an Eraserheads shirt? Is she trying to be bagets or what? I can accept it if my father wears this shirt (because he is jeprox and young at heart) but my conservative Nanay? She got to be kidding.

I asked her, “Seryoso kayo?”.

“Oo nga!”, she replied.

And she removed the shirt from the hanger, went to the other room, and wore my shirt. And it fits her perfectly. Panalo!

This is the modern world where being fit and sexy is in and being fat with man-boobs is a big no. It’s just so unfair for us fatties. Come on self-proclaimed fashion experts! There are more of us who are not sexy, fit, and macho. the world is full of non-sexy and non-fit individuals. You should consider us whenever you make these shirts.

Okay, enough of the ranting. Alam ko namang olats ako diyan at kailangan ko na talagang magpapayat. Hindi na din kasi healthy.

I have cool parents. It’s good to see them having the same trip and vibes as ours. They borrow and listen to my CDs. They watch the same TV series as mine. And they both love the Eraserheads.

Nanay, you can wear that shirt forever if you want to. It’s all yours. I can buy you more Eraserheads shirt if you want to. Keep your cool. I love you po! :’)

Happy 22nd Anniversary Nanay and Tatay

Today marks the 22nd wedding anniversary of my parents. 22 years of being a husband and wife, 22 years of being good parents, 22 years of ups and downs, 22 years of blessings and misfortunes, and 22 years of being together.

You have gone a long way in your marriage. You have been a good example to us, your sons and daughter. You have thought us to be God-fearing individuals and to be just to our neighbor. You are our idols.

In three years, you will be celebrating your Silver Anniversary. But let’s aim for fifty years just like Lolo and Lola. And when that day comes, I want both of you to sing Adam Sandler’s Grow Old With You.

I love you Nanay and Tatay from the bottom of my heart and from the wholeness of my substantial, corporeal, living, and rational soul. Nuks!

Photo taken at Kamay ni Hesus Healing Center, Lucban Quezon. I asked them to pose on ‘The Temptation’ statue of Adam and Eve for art’s sake – and for them to be reminded that whatever temptations may come along the way, they should still be together as one.