Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Independence Day

This is not a happy post.

Because I am mad.

No, I take that back. If you've read my previous entries, you've already known that I'm mad.

But I'm not that kind of "mad". I'm angry! Yes, that's the word. ANGRY!

Angry that June 11 is a non-working holiday.

Angry even if, on that day, I can drive to MOA my Mitsubishi Lancer with plate number TDX322.

Angry even if I can go to Anilao on Saturday, get back home on Sunday, and still have an extra day to rest before going to work.

And why am I angry? I'll tell you.

Why does the government declare a day as non-working holiday? What's the purpose for daily wage-earners not getting their salary for the day? I thought a non-working holiday is declared to celebrate, or commemorate, a certain event. It is a time to pause and reflect, and give thanks that such an event occurred in our history.

Next week, we will celebrate our most joyous historical event, the Independence Day. But, unfortunately, June 12 falls on a Tuesday. So, our president declares June 11 as a special non-working holiday, while June 12 as a regular working day.

The intention is so we can have a long week-end, and people will be enticed to go to the beaches, to the resorts, or to the malls in order to spend money and spur the economy. Therefore, it seems it is the hard cash that is more important on this day rather than being thankful that we are an independent nation.

And this makes me angry.

What's the fuss, anyway? We do that all the time, celebrating our birthday on the nearest Sunday if it falls on a weekday. And we do that beginning with our first birthday, our second, our third, and so on and so forth, until we take for granted our birthday and don't celebrate it anymore.

When was that, when the president declared May 3, a Friday, as a special non-working holiday, but May 1 was a regular working day? The labor unions complained. For why declare a non-working holiday other than the day when the event should be celebrated? The president retracted her order, and so we have a non-working holiday on Labor Day, regardless on what day of the week it falls.

And this makes me more angry.

It seems nobody cares that the holiday is declared not on the day on which it is supposed to be celebrated. That people are now looking forward to June because of an additional holiday, and not because we will celebrate our Independence Day.

Ok, ok. So, I, too, am guilty. I, too, look forward to this extra non-working day in June. And I never go to Luneta to watch the parade.

Which makes me angry at myself.

But we tried. Ever since the country celebrated its Centennial, my family tried to make it a point to, at least, place a flag in front of our house. Sadly, we're not doing it this year; my daughter's Christmas lantern is still hanging out there.

I also look forward to this day because most FM radio stations play only Filipino songs throughout the day. Even 98.7 DzFE, the Master's Touch, play the Kundimans and classical music composed by Filipinos. However, for the past several years, even this is slowly disappearing, with very few stations playing all OPM even just for an hour.

It is quite ironic, for it was President Diosdado Macapagal, the present president's father, who moved the date for the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Well, I guess it runs in the family. PGMA is, once more, moving the date of our Indepedence Day, just like what her father did.

Or, perhaps, she knows a lot more than I do. With the votes not being counted properly in the last elections, with 30% of the population at the poverty level, with billions of dollars owed by the Philippine Government to different banks, thus each one of us, even the newly-born, already owes thousands of pesos to these banks, with millions of Filipinos working abroad as domestic helpers, nurses, entertainers, blue-collared workers, and the government depending so much on the dollars remitted by them, the president may have a point in regarding lightly our Independence Day. Perhaps, she is right. We may not really be independent after all.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Politician?

My friend recently posted on her blog a quiz to find out what your marrying age is. I'm very fond of these quizzes, and with the just-concluded elections, I had the inspiration to make one. This one will find out if you have the potential to be a politician.

For each item, choose what you'd do, score each answer, get the total, and see what the final score means. Don't leave any item unanswered.

I've also placed the moral value each item is asking. You might want to know where you need to work on.

1. [Honesty] You decided to treat your friends and eat at Gerry's Grill. The four of you ordered nine cups of rice, but were able to finish only eight, leaving one untouched. The bill came, and the cashier made the mistake of charging only eight cups. What will you do?

    a. Point out the mistake and ask the cashier to correct the bill.

    b. Just keep quiet. Leave the restaurant, also leaving the untouched cup of rice. That way, they can still serve it to another customer.

    c. Just keep quiet. Ask the waitress to put the untouched rice in a doggy bag for take out.

2. [Compassion] You were along the aisle of ice creams at SM Hypermart. An old lady was buying a half-gallon of vanilla. With it came a free box of wafer cones. However, she could not reach the box, so she asked the saleslady to get one. But the saleslady was also short, and had a hard time getting the box of cones. You will...

    a. get the box and give it to the old lady.

    b. go to the fruit section.

    c. cheer the saleslady on. She is just a few inches away from getting the box.

3. [Education] 1 + 1 =

    a. 2

    b. fifty pesos

    c. +2,000 for you, -2,000 for your opponent

4. [Law-abidingness] Traffic is heavy, but the opposite lane is free. You will...

    a. wait it out.

    b. counterflow, and get back in your lane if there is an oncoming car.

    c. counterflow with headlights blinking and horns blaring, and staring at the driver of the oncoming car.

5. [Respect] You failed to watch the second season opener of "Prison Break" because your daughter was watching "High School Musical" for the nth time. You'll...

    a. just let your daughter continue watching the Disney channel, and try to know what happened in "Prison Break" based on the following episode.

    b. change the channel and shout at your daughter if she cries and whines.

    c. go to Quiapo to buy all episodes of "Prison Break", Seasons 1, 2, and 3.

6. [Industry] Your electric fan broke down. You're going to...

    a. fix it yourself.

    b. have your wife fix it.

    c. have your rich father fix it.

7. [Frugality] Oil is becoming scarce, hence its price is soaring. You're going out to buy bread, and the store is 100 m away. What will you do?

    a. Walk to the store and buy the bread.

    b. Tell your maid to buy the bread.

    c. Take your F-150 to the store. It is a hot day, and the aircon of the vehicle is so refreshing.

8. [Fidelity] Your wife caught you cheating on her. What do you plan to do?

    a. Nothing. You will never cheat on your wife.

    b. Deny it. But if you can't squirm out of the situation, blame the other woman, saying she seduced you.

    c. Be proud of it, and plan to add another. You believe that manliness is measured by the number of mistresses one has.

9. [Leadership] Your friends are making fun of a fat co-employee. You will...

    a. defend your co-employee.

    b. laugh with them.

    c. take the lead in insulting him.

10. [Abhorrence to Gambling] There is a game between Ginebra and San Miguel tonight. You plan to...

    a. watch and enjoy the game at home.

    b. bet 5-5 for the first quarter, 7-8 for the second, 2-0 for the third, and 6-5 for the final quarter. You expect a close fight.

    c. organize the ending game.


Score five points for every item answered with an "a", three points if the answer is "b", and one point for every "c" answer. Add up all your scores.


If your total score is 10 - 20: Better not go into politics, for you don't have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). There are so many out there like you, and they already have their parents/siblings/aunts and uncles/cousins/children as congressman/governor/mayor/counselor/baranggay captain/tanod.

If you scored 21 - 35: Three years ago I would have recommended that you become a talent of ABS-CBN. With the results of the last election, that doesn't seem to be effective anymore. Instead, I suggest you enter the seminary.

If your total is 36 - 50: You'll make a perfect politician, not because you have the qualities of a true leader this nation badly needs, but because you can promise things that you cannot do.

If you scored more than 50: You're better off being a COMELEC official.

Next time, I'll prepare a quiz to find out if you have what it takes to be a voter.