Sunday, September 27, 2009


View of Intramuros from Burgos Drive/Luneta.

Bloated Pasig River. Note vagrant defacating into river. Interviewed him after his dump. He said flooding was not so bad. Only up to knee. Underpass of Jones Bridge was pretty bad though.

The underpass next to Jones Bridge next to Manila Post Office. This was taken behind Manila Press Club. Water was higher than a person's forehead.

View from Intramuros wall overlooking golf course. Taken near Puerta Santa Lucia near San Agustin Monastery.

A completely submerged Puerta Real Gate. Waist high water at least.

A completely flooded entrance to Puerta Real.

Puerta Real Gardens next to Pamantasan ng Maynila. This was once a lawn where concerts are held.

Note submerged silver carozza. Entrance to Puerta Real.

This was once a garden. Now it's a lagoon.
View towards Department of Labor.

Puerta Real Gate from the interior.

Side view of Puerta Real Gate.

Wide shot.

Puerta Parian Gate near Manila City Hall. This is the office of my friends over at Kabayan. Their communications equipment was damaged. But computers safe. They told me about two deaths last night that happened near the area. One was an 18 year old on his way to pick up his girlfriend. While wading through chest high water, he touched a live wire. So sad.

Top view of flooded. Note the watermark on the little huts.

Another shot of area. But despite low elevation and close proximity of Intramuros to sea and Pasig River, the damage was not as bad as that in Marikina and Pasig.

The damaged base of the radio system of the Kabayan Security folks. Anyone know where I can have it repaired or how much a new one is? Security communications is an ABSOLUTE necessity inside Intramuros.

Sandbags outside San Agustin Museum. Water reached below the knee. No damage to any artifacts reported.

And despite this all. A wedding was still in progess.

Ah, the resiliency of the Filipino Spirit.

Now I'm off to volunteer for the Noynoy/Mar folk or Team Manila. Depends on which place I'm able to reach in this traffic.

Stay safe everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2009


There is a great article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about my performance in Toronto for Kapisanan last May. Just came out this morning. Thanks a million, Harriet. Thanks a million, Kapisanan.

And on an not so similar but artistic note, WOW. Check out Andres Amador's work.

I'm all over art like that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



and ROOM TO ROOM VISITS INSIDE the House of Representatives

RH MOBILIZATIONS at the House of Representatives (HOR) PROGRAM FLOW September 22, 2009 (WED)
March on South Wing Gate @ HOR

2:00 – 2:30PM – Assembly at Sandigan
2:30 PM – March to SW Gate of HOR
3:00 – 3:20 PM – Photo Ops ng RH BILL NOW NA!!!
3:20 – 4:30 PM – Chanting

EMCEE: Ka Nora Protacio of WomanHealth
Majo Tanwangco (DSWP)

If you wish to bring placards or chant, these are recommended sayings:
"Taungbayan Nagsalita na!"
"RH Bill Pagbotohan na!"
"Reproductive Health Bill, Ipasa, Ipasa, Now Na!"

ROOM TO ROOM lobbying schedules at the House of Representatives
September 14-16, 22-23 Meeting place: Coffee Experience HOR main building 2:00 PM
A march/appeal/call to the 131 authors of HB 5043:

Notes for volunteers who are going:
1. Be present and consistent in attending sessions and stay on in case the RH bill will be called for the continuation of the debates;
2. Encourage other RH authors to attend the sessions and stay on while RH deliberations continue;
3. Call and or support call for votation on the bill; and
4. Vote for the passage of the RH Bill.

Para sa mga participants na papasok sa loob ng HOR plenary, IPINAGBABAWAL PO ANG SUMUSUNOD :

1. Pagsusuot ng shorts, sinelas
2. Pagdadala ng bags, food, water
3. Pagsasama ng BATA
4. Pagsasama ng may SINAT OR LAGNAT (may fever detector na po ang HOR)

* ang bags at food po ay iwan na lamang natin sa ating mga jeeps
* wag kalimutang magdala ng jacket pangginaw

Please contact the Secretariat for clarifications and or CONFIRMATION
of participation.

Please confirm participation if you wish to join: RHAN Secretariat
Rhoda Avila - 0917 8855782
Telephone numbers: 9271766; 9256395
email address:



From a tweet by @diegomaranan linking to @beatbeatrice, I stumbled upon this great design competition that will be held in the up and coming province of Camarines Sur.

This design contest..."calls out for proposals for a masterplan and design of an eco-agro-tourism development for a rural community in Camarines Sur Philippines... This site has experienced the dramatic destruction caused by strong tropical cyclones and yet continues to try to rise above it with progressive projects that seek to alleviate the condition of its people. With the help of the global architecture community it believes that it can be an example of strength, resilience and innovative adaptability."

"The top 3 winning designs will be awarded US $ 10,000, US $ 5,000 and US $ 3,000 respectively. The 1st prize winning design will be built as a prototype master planned community of 50 houses in Cam Sur . All design entries will be compiled and published into an encyclopedia of architecture and planning solutions for climate change."

So all you architects and designers out there, log onto, read up on the contest objectives and join the competition now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Thank you Mai Mislang for this information.

I'm getting more and more convinced that Noynoy just might be the man to vote for. I used to think that his greatest asset was not what he has done, but what he hasn't done. But apparently, he's done quite a bit as legislator. I especially like the bill requiring the regular maintenance and preservation of all public infrastructure.

I can't wait to see what he will look like post makeover.

And will there be a Palace wedding as well? Huy, Korina. Sayang. Joke only.


Senator Noynoy Aquino is vigilant in his pursuit of truth, justice and freedom, the fundamental principles that make democracy work in this country that his parents had likewise fought hard to restore. His commitment to preserve, strengthen and continue their legacy is evident in his accomplishments.

I. Positions held
Chairman, Committee on Local Government
Co-chair, Committee on Justice and Human Rights

II. Committee Membership
• Accounts
• Economic Affairs
• Education, Arts and Culture
• Environment and Natural Resources
• Government Corporations and Public Enterprises
• Justice and Human Rights
• National Defense and Security
• Peace, Reunification and Reconciliation
• Public Works
• Trade and Commerce
• Urban Planning, Housing and Development
• Ways and Means
• Youth, Women and Family Relations

III. Senate Bills
Senate Bill No. 1370 – an act granting an annual productivity incentive to all workers in the private sector, establishing mechanisms for its implementation, and for other purposes

Senate Bill No. 1719 – an act limiting the re-appointment of presidential nominees by-passed by the Commission on Appointments (CA)

Senate Bill No. 1710 – an act banning the re-appointment of a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) who has already served the full term

Senate Bill No. 2035 – an act requiring the regular maintenance and preservation of all public infrastructures, establishing mechanisms for its implementation and for other purposes

Senate Bill No. 2036 – an act increasing the penalties for non-compliance of the prescribed increases and adjustments in the wage rates of workers, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 6727

Senate Bill 2159 – an act adopting the doctrine of superior responsibility to all actions involving military personnel, members of the Philippine National Police and other civilians involved in law enforcement

Senate Bill 2160 – an act amending Section 4 of RA 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act to further restrict exemptions to the requirement of public bidding

Senate Bill 2978 – an act amending the DILG Act to further clarify the relationship between local chief executives and their respective local police chiefs

Senate Bill 3121 – the Budget Impoundment Control Act, which seeks to strengthen legislative oversight over executive spending

IV. Senate Resolutions
Senate Resolution No. 190 – investigating the exercise and implementation of the powers of local chief executives under Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the “Local Government Code of 1991” in relation to Republic Act 6975 known as the “Philippine National Police (PNP) Law”
and Republic Act 8551 known as “The PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998”

Senate Resolution No. 205 – investigating the bomb explosion at the House of Representatives, condemning in the strongest possible terms the recent bombing at the House of Representatives, extending sympathies to the victims and calling on authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into this incident

Senate Resolution No. 229 – directing the appropriate Senate committees to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the circumstances leading to the arrest and ‘processing’ of journalists and media personalities after the Manila Peninsula standoff on 29 November 2007

V. Fiscalizer
The responsibilities of a senator go beyond the drafting of legislation or the creation of policies. As a true representative of the people, Senator Aquino has consistently voiced his concerns on several issues, drawing attention to the anomalies in our current administration.

2009 General Appropriations Act (GAA)
By vigorously examining the General Appropriations Act for 2009 submitted by the Executive, Senator Aquino was able to propose key amendments to the 2009 GAA that seek to tighten congressional oversight on the executive’s use of public funds.

Champion of Human Rights and People’s Participation
At the heart of all legislative and policy-making initiatives is the development and welfare of the people. Senator Aquino has sought the proper relocation of informal settlers and the delineation of authority of parties involved in demolitions such as the MMDA. The bill amending the UDHA is currently underway.

Through his privilege speeches, Senator Aquino has drawn attention to the plight of desaparecidos and victims of extra-judicial killings. He introduced substantial amendments to the Cooperative Code to make it more responsive to the needs of the marginalized sector for which the code was enacted. They are meant to strengthen the cooperative movement by providing for transparent measures for members and officers of cooperatives.

He is also part of the bicameral debates on the Anti-Torture Act.

Accountability to the People
Senator Aquino actively participated in the hearings that investigated a number of reported scandals involving the alleged misuse of public funds, such as the ZTE-NBN deal, the Euro Generals and the Fertilizer Fund scam. These hearings brought to light the need for increased transparency and accountability in the disbursal of taxpayers’ money.

Integrity of the Senate
The series of scandals that stain the reputation of our government has also challenged the Senate of the Philippines as an institution. The recent attempts to amend the Constitution, for instance, have compelled our Senators, including Senator Aquino, to firmly assert their defiant stand on this issue.

Energy Sector
Senator Aquino has been vigilant in the hearings regarding the sale of TRANSCO and PNOC-EDC. Much of his time and energy was spent on the EPIRA and TRANSCO amendments, questioning the sale of revenue-generating assets prior to the privatization of key government corporations. Senator Aquino sought clarification as to whether the sales of these assets were part of a long-term energy development plan or not to ensure that the long-term impact of losing these assets have been considered prior to their sales.

National Integrity
Senator Aquino voted “NO” to the controversial JPEPA because he believed that the Filipino people deserved a better negotiated and mutually beneficial treaty.

VI. Institution builder
Last but not least, Senator Aquino has dedicated his life in public service to strengthening our democratic institutions. Principal among these is his commitment to a genuine party system in the Philippines, as reflected in his membership in and strong commitment to the Liberal Party.

• Executive Vice President, December 18, 2007 to present
• Vice Chairman, March 17, 2006 to December 17, 2007
• Secretary General, 2004 to March 16, 2006
• Vice-Pres. for Luzon, 2002-2004
• Secretary General, 1999-2002
• Chairman of the Board, Central Luzon Congressional Caucus

VII. Accomplishments as three-term member of the House of

A. Positions held

Deputy Speaker, 13th Congress

B. Committee Membership

13th Congress
• Banks & Financial Intermediaries
• Energy
• Export Promotion
• Public Order & Safety

12th Congress
• Civil, Political & Human Rights
• Good Government
• Inter-Parliamentary Relations & Diplomacy
• Public Order & Security

11th Congress
• Agriculture
• Appropriations
• Banks & Financial Intermediaries
• Civil, Political & Human Rights (Vice-Chairman)
• Natural Resources
• Peoples’ Participation
• Public Order & Security
• Suffrage and Electoral Reforms
• Trade & Industry
• Transportation & Communications

C. Priority Bills
• House Bill No. 4251 – granting annual productivity incentives to all workers in the private sector

• House Bill No. 4397 – strengthening the regulatory power of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to effectively enforce consumer laws

• House Bill No. 4252 – increasing the penalties for non-compliance of the prescribed increases and adjustments in the wage rates of workers

• House Bill No. 3616 – extending the reglementary period for the educational qualification for PNP members

• House Bill No. 1842 – providing for the codification of criminal laws

D. Resolutions
• House Resolution No. 65 – inquiry in aid of legislation into the policies and processes of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in granting rate increases to electric utilities

• House Resolution No. 788 – creating a select Congressional
Oversight Committee on intelligence funds to check and study the use of intelligence funds by government agencies to ensure that funds allocated therefore are utilized for the purpose they are intended

E. Other legislation
a. Introduced an amendment in the General Appropriations Act requiring public bidding in the purchase of petroleum, oil and lubricant products for the Department of National Defense

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Spending two days in Manila?

Michaela Cabrera of Reuters tells you just how to do it. I looked over her list. It's pretty spot on, I have to say. So bookmark the article. It's easy referencing for anyone who needs to know.

Log onto her article here: 48 Hours in Manila

Saturday, September 05, 2009


A friend of mine is looking for an interior architect. He is opening up a coffee shop in a place called Plaza Santiago right in front of Fort Santiago in Intramuros (above). He and some partners obtained the rights to the name of "Cafe Rizal". Cafe Rizal hopes to be a restaurant/bar/coffee shop that will evoke the charm of old Intramuros but will be fresh and hip as well. The image and idea of Jose Rizal would also have to be used liberally in the design for this establishment. If you or someone you know is interested in designing this coffee shop, email me at and I'll get you in touch with the folks concerned.

View of Fort Santiago in Front of Plaza Santiago.

View from the roof of the building.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Times have been pretty tough. I think we all need a bit of cheering up.

That's why on Saturday, September 12, at 5:30pm, I'll be throwing a "Sunset Lounge", a cocktail party at whitemoon Bar (below) right after my Imelda Tour. There is no occasion and no reason for it. I just thought it would be nice to have a little party to pick up the city's spirits a bit. So if you haven't checked out Whitemoon yet, come on over and let's have a drink, celebrate the sunset of our city, and have a darned good time. Just because we can.

Hard drinks flow freely until 9:30pm (or till supplies last). And yeah, there will be some snacks of course.

Couchlab will be providing the music. Wear something nice. Please.

Send me an email to be on the guest list, or twitter me, or go on facebook.

Whitemoon bar
2nd floor
Manila Ocean Center
Rizal Park, Manila
Behind Quirino Grandstand