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When Commissioner’s Wife Becomes A Proponent Of #SilentNoMore

It was a brewing storm for the past months judging from the blind items and hushed talks making its rounds. Who would have thought that a blind item that I once heard on an AM radio show on my way to work about a Presidential appointee dubbed as “Angry Bird” would become a national headline in a matter of months? It was funny that the “item” was very precise with its details and the only thing that really stuck with me was Angry Bird’s kinky fetish. Don’t blame me but the anchor made the whole topic really juicy.

So after this Monday’s big reveal, I took the time to watch Karen Davila’s interview of Tisha Bautista and Commissioner Andy Bautista, on her morning show at ANC, to get a better grasp of what was being presented and the arguments being laid on the table for public consumption. You get a better insight of the issues after hearing both sides of the story. I took down notes that I deem valid and my own thoughts while watching the interview.

She Says

I have to say that Tisha Bautista was very composed throughout the whole interview. She acted what she was saying that she was not there to convince people to believe her. All that she pleaded was for them to look at the documents she had presented and then make a judgement. She was modest enough to steer clear of putting her estranged husband in a bad light when she reiterated that look at the documents before making the judgement. Her focus was clearly directed on the issue – what were these financial documents? She came in with a clear demarcation line of what is a domestic dispute and what is a government concern.

Tisha was right in saying that their marital woes is just a distraction on the real issue – her discovery of 36 LDB passbooks, pay envelope that go back to the PCGG years of Commissioner Bautista, commission handout reports, documents of BDO checks issued to LDB, and vital and sensitive correspondence. She focused on the issue of clarifying what these financial documents are that reflects billions of pesos that the commissioner possibly owns and was undeclared in his SALN.

As for the accusation on her alleged extramarital affairs, she categorically denied the accusation. She also raised a valid point on the allegation that she was just after the money when she said that by putting these questionable accounts forward, it will reduce the money that she could legally claim when their marriage gets dissolved. She could have easily earned half of these billions by just keeping silent. But she was very clear with what she wanted, she wanted what is rightfully and legally hers from their assets that is cleanly their ownership.

Tisha Bautista did confirm that the root of all these discoveries was their marital woes and did not deny that there were prior meetings where both parties were trying to resolve the marital issue. She did confirm that both parties were in the process of getting into an agreement but she felt uncomfortable with certain points in the agreement. Two of these clauses were her denial of the discoveries of this documents and her admittance to the understanding that some of the documents were related to a family business. I like the way her lawyer phrased it that Tisha Bautista agreed to the financial terms of the agreement but she did not agree to participate in the concealment of a possible crime.

Tisha Bautista understands that what she has presented now for public scrutiny is bigger than her and their domestic dispute but she also understands that she needs to stand up for what is right and that we should do something. I like the way she said it, stop complaining and do something about it. Her message was clear that we should look into these documents and take the necessary action based on the findings.

He Says

Commissioner Andy Bautista was a stark contrast to his estranged wife Tisha during his turn on the interview table. He sounded off like a whining brat who took offense that a broadsheet gave her wife more airtime than him. He was on that table to convince people that he was a poor victim and depicting his wife as an adulterer who is playing a part in orchestrating a demolition job against him. Interestingly, more airtime was spent on how sour their marital relationship turned out and the demolition plan against him rather than answering the allegations against him.

While Tisha came in with the stance that their marital woes was not the issue here, Andy came in with an attack that highlighted their marital problems. He started it off with a story on how his wife was unfaithful to him and what he went through when she told him that she has found her soulmate. She painted her wife, not only as a cheater, but as someone who completely turned her back to the family. He tried to paint the issue as a domestic dispute turned political at his expense by his wife and the people behind her.

When faced with the question regarding the vital documents found in his custody, he neither issues a categorical yes or no. He kept emphasizing that he needs to see these documents first. He does “subtly” confirm a couple of points to the issues raised at him:

  1. He does confirm that some of the 32 passbooks are actual existing and closed accounts. He confirms that these accounts were a product of family investments in forex and pyramid scheme, where he is either a co-investor or form part of the “and/or” bank accounts.
  2. He confirms that he recycles PCGG pay envelopes but does not categorically say that the money inside these envelopes were planted although he tries to imply that it might be and that he needs to see it first.
  3. Commissioner Andy Bautista confirms that SMARTMATIC is a client of the Divina Law Firm.

Despite these confirmations from the commissioner himself, he added that some of these bank passbook were probably falsified. Karen Davila was quick to retort that it would be difficult for Tisha to falsify a bank document to which he responded “I don’t know”.

Commissioner Andy also denied the allegation that he received any commission from anyone or the Divina Law Firm. He said that the checks issued to him was for the payment of a property that he sold to Nilo Divina which was being paid in installments.

In the same way as that of Tisha’s interview, he also confirms that he and his estranged wife were both on a negotiating table where he presented a document to support his claim of an initial 620 million settlement through Tisha Bautista’s first lawyer, Atty. Kapunan. He also confirms by showing the last settlement draft between him and the new lawyers of Tisha. Parts of the draft was read out loud by the host which also affirms it was the same parts that Tisha was not in agreeance to.

It is interesting to note that the focus of Commissioner Bautista was on the ongoing marital squabble with the attempt to depict Tisha as a vulture that was pouncing on a hapless victim. He never made a categorical admittance or denial to any of the allegations thrown at him but instead focused on the issue as an after effect of a domestic problem. It even came to the point that he started hitting on the new lawyers of his wife on a personal level. I had the impression that he came into the interview a bit rattled where his objective was to discredit his wife.

Me Says

Tisha Bautista was on point with the fact that with our culture that is deeply embedded with too much drama similar to the soap operas that hound our television sets daily, their marital woes is really none of our business. It is their drama and theirs alone. The issue is not about their failed marriage and the issue goes far beyond that. Hence, their marital issue is theirs to settle and not for the public to meddle.

Having said that, the real issue at hand are the authenticity and the ownership of the financial documents presented by Tisha Bautista which is allegedly owned by Commissioner Andy Bautista. This is the first step in finding the truth behind these allegations. Tisha presented it very well by encouraging the public and the authorities to look at these documents before making the judgement. Are these documents valid? Once this is answered then we can then check whether this documents are really owned by the COMELEC Commissioner before we can proceed to any further action.

Based on the “subtle” admittance of Commissioner Andy that some of these bank accounts exist and some were already closed, then we can proceed with the inquiry whether these accounts are owned and/or co-owned by Andy. He already made a claim that these accounts are owned by his family and he is just part of the “and/or” management of these accounts. This is where the clincher comes in, if these accounts bear the name of the commissioner whether wholly or partly then it should have been declared in his SALN. The way I see it, the names that appear on that account are legally the owners of the money deposited even if only one really owns the actual money. If Commissioner Bautista has his name in ANY of these accounts then he should have accounted it in his SALN. If not, then Andy just committed an impeachable offense.

From my point of view, Commissioner Bautista’s best defense really is by presenting facts to the public rather than their melodramatic love story. He could have easily presented his bank accounts with the Luzon Development Bank and cross-referenced it to his submitted SALN. That way, from the point of accusation, he could have easily flicked off the doubt. But his continuous tugging of “I need to see the documents” is really making me think that these documents may actually be valid. Commissioner Bautista says that he was nominated by the family to be the finance guy so I am pretty sure he knows how many, if not all 32 LDB passbooks, are valid and active, whether his name appears on these accounts, and whether he declared it in his SALN.

The “Maang-maangan School of Arts” approach of Commissioner Bautista no longer appeals to the discerning public, and you can also include in the list the drama of comparing himself to a “rape victim”. It is so lame because at this point he could have already deflected the accusation by presenting his actual SALN, which is a public document. He is at a position where he can already present the truth if he really submitted a truthful government document.

Commissioner Bautista can paint his wife as an adulterer. He can paint her as mentally imbalanced. But that does not disregard the REAL question that Commissioner Bautista needs to answer to the Filipinos – how much is the commissioner’s real net worth and where did these assets really come from?

While Tisha Bautista sat on the hot seat composed and focused on what she believes was the right thing to do, it bothers me when Commissioner Andy said that he is seriously considering on what his next move would be because it would implicate others in the issue. At this point, everyone involved in their marital and political issue have already been divulged to the public.

So… sino pa ba ng pwede ma-involve sa issue na ito, Commissioner?

Ma-SONA-y Na Kayo

If I were to sum up the first year of PDiggy’s presidency, it was a time where government actions struck closer to home. It was a time, as a friend puts it, when the government was closer to the Filipino people. It was a time that majority of the Filipinos realized, as MY President puts it, that “genuine change is what this country needs”. It was a time when we scratched our head in disbelief and told ourselves “pede naman pala”.

Like in the previous government functions, PDiggy’s SONA was void of the usual pomp and pageantry. It had a mix of a structured speech intertwined with his personal thoughts on how the country’s Chief Executive looks at the current issues hounding the nation. It was very bold, softened by PDiggy’s own brand of humor. It was a message addressed to Filipinos with the intent of making us understand the why’s for these government efforts. The SONA was not delivered to impress a particular audience but was delivered to Filipinos to digest. It was delivered right and to its rightful recipients.

I loved the way he spelled out the issue of human rights and the hypocrisy of the supposed guardians of it. Though I am not disregarding the need to investigate the “possible” abuse by the police in some isolated cases, the same “outburst” should also done to victims of heinous crimes. Politicians, eager for positive ratings, should not add too much drama to the deaths of suspected criminals, because they fought back to resist arrest, by trivializing it in the guise of human rights and due process. The truth is that these politicians take on the banner of human rights violation with so much passion for these suspected criminals and yet they remain silent over heinous crimes committed against innocent lives. When you are against crime, you should be against all forms of crime. If you create noise and clamour on the death of a suspected criminal, we expect to create the same noise and clamour for the victims of these suspected criminals. Noise created in one and silence with another does not make sense. It makes one a hypocrite and Filipinos can see these intentions.

Martial Law in Mindanao was justified in one sentence – it is the fastest way to quench a rebellion by terrorists in Mindanao. It will take a Mindanaoan to understand the situation of what is happening in Marawi and the risks that it entail. It is not just a simple faction throwing its tantrums at a government. It is a group that is very eager to carve out a caliphate in Mindanao and struggling to get the world’s attention. It is important that the government shows it force against these groups now. An iron fist is needed to eradicate this group for the nation’s safety. It is only PDiggy who has the balls to take this brave action to address this security concern and we can all see how swiftly key people of the Maute group fall into the hands of authorities.

In the same frame of thoughts, all these perceived Martial Law abuses are yet to be properly reported, documented, and investigated by the right government agency. We cannot rely on hearsays alone. The right and justified way to address these issues is through channelling it through the right government agency instead of mere press releases.

“I will not take to you (Leftists). Why should I?” was a bold statement from PDiggy. This comes after several incidents of treachery on the part of the NPA. I mean you cannot talk about peace and stage surprise attacks that claimed the lives of our police force. That is a complete opposite of the why we are on a negotiating table.

This statement was further emphasized by PDiggy’s show of support to the AFP and the PNP. This administration has, by far, shown the most support to the military and police force, not only with the promise of modernization programs but also with the moral support for our troops. You have to admit that this administration has inspired a whole nation, except for a minority, to rally behind our troops. Stories of simple citizens extending small acts of kindness and support to our troops are no longer confined to stories that we read from other countries. We now have our own inspiring stories to tell from simple Starbucks coffee treats to airline’s extending free baggage weight allotment for our troops. You cannot deny that the way we see the police and the military are slowly shifting. There are still some scalawags on the line but we do not let the SOME taint the image of the whole. Besides, the some will soon be taken out of the line.

Speaking of strong words, the call to return the “Balangiga Bells” is one of the strongest points of PDiggy’s SONA. It was definitely a bold statement that made a number of pro-American politicians, and probably even the US Ambassador to the Philippines, a bit uncomfortable on their seats. The President was right in saying that the bells belong to the Philippines and they are part of our country’s national heritage.

For me, the statement goes beyond just the act of returning the bells to its home. It is a statement that mainly emphasizes three things:

  1. PDiggy believes that what is ours is ours;
  2. The US has no moral right to keep prodding and interfering with how we are dealing with our issues on the West Philippine Sea; and
  3. PDiggy is putting emphasis that we are no longer the “little brown American” as we are an independent nation.

I could probably write a separate blog about this but, for the purpose of this blog, I will try to give a short summary of my points.

It may seem that it is just a material thing compared to the West Philippine Sea Issue but the Balangiga Bells stands more than just a bell. It is a national heritage that was forcefully taken from us. It is a symbol of American defeat and by returning it to us is a recognition by the US that they have strong respect for our history and heritage. It is a statement that they recognize our independence as a nation and the respect for our values. Furthermore, the US should not prod us to go against China on the West Philippine Sea issue with them giving us support. As a matter of principle, how can the US demand from the PDiggy Administration to act the way the US want this administration to act on the West Philippine Sea issue when the US themselves cannot even return a national heritage to its rightful owner? Again, it is hypocrisy. Return what is ours first if that is the principle that US is really standing up and working on.

The protection of the environment is a non-negotiable for this administration. This statement, for me, was a bold statement after the non-appointment of Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary. The President emphasized the need to exercise extreme care in the extraction of minerals from its sources by creating a mining economy that is responsible, regulatory, and sustainable. He emphasized the need to raise taxes on mining so as to have funds for the rehabilitation of the local community affected by this industry. Simply put… there are two viable options that goes hand in hand with the care of the environment – raise taxes or stop mining.

Speaking of taxes, a good message that made an impression on me was PDiggy’s stand on the strong need to bridge the gap between those who are paying taxes and the elimination of corruption in the government. It emphasizes that this two goes hand in hand that we as private citizens and companies have a deep responsibility in paying our taxes while the government works on the right appropriation of these funds for the government’s project especially on its “Build, Build, Build” projects. The President made it clear in his SONA that they “will not spare no one for cheating the government what is due” hence the call to “declare the right income and pay the correct taxes”. On the President’s end, he gave us the assurance his fight for corruption will be relentless and also calls for the public’s cooperation on fighting corruption.

Right after PDiggy’s SONA, I read varying comments on social media and I restrained myself from giving my reaction not until after I have heard the whole address. I have to say that one thing that makes this administration effective, as reflected by the President’s address, is that its programs strike very close to our homes. These are programs that make us feel the presence of the government in our daily run. Again, it makes you think and say “kaya naman pala, bakit hindi pa nagawa noon?”

PDiggy’s address was simple and straightforward. Much was already done and much still remains to be done but as PDiggy puts it, it also needs our cooperation.

Now if you only counted the cuss words or something less relevant during the SONA, something is terribly wrong with you.

Kwentong Plastic

At the end of last month, I signed up with a movement that aims to take concrete steps in educating and taking action in reducing the use of plastic in our daily lives. I receive weekly emails that give me some action plans to work on for that particular week. Most of the things being shared were nothing new to me as I have long taken the initiative to reduce drastically the use of plastic at home and in the office.

Earlier this evening, with the usual fanfare of our Sunday, my daughter and I decided to go for food delivery for dinner. I went online, placed our orders, and, in reference to a recent article that I read, specified in the “Other Comment” section of the chain’s order form to not include plastic straws in the delivery.

Less than 45 minutes after, the delivery guy was already buzzing at our gate. I went through the orders, noting that there were no straws in our delivery, and went on to give our payment when a quick thought came into mind. I asked the delivery guy if our orders came in with the usual plastic spoon and forks to which he answered affirmative. I then pulled out these plastic itensils and handed it back to the delivery guy. He was surprised and I simply said that there was no need for it because we can use the silver spoon and forks that we have at home.

I realized at that moment that by using the silver utensils that we have when we have food delivered at home is another small step in reducing the use of plastic in our daily lives. I thought that it was a small and significant step that, if done by many, could make a huge impact in saving the environment.

The evening’s eureka moment had me creatively go through my day and identify the small tweaks that we can do every day to reduce the use of plastic in our daily churn.

 

Ask your food delivery service to not include plastic straws and plastic utensils in the delivery unless needed.

Like what happened last Sunday night, you can request from your food delivery service to exclude straw and plastic utensils with the food you ordered. You can use your silver utensils during the meal when you are at home.

This small act will reduce the plastic garbage in the household since most of these straw and plastic end up in the bin after a single use.

When buying small items from a store, refuse the small plastic and just slip the item you purchased inside your bag.

This is one action that I have easily adopted in my everyday run. Usually we buy small items in our neighborhood convenience store and, most of the time, they will pack it in one small plastic bag which goes directly to the bin. The plastic is so small that we do not find any use for it unlike the bigger ones.

So when you find yourself in the situation when you bought a couple of small stuff, you can ask the attendant to not put it in a small packaging plastic. You can simply slip the items inside your bag and make sure you get the receipt before leaving the counter.

Hydrate with a reusable water bottle.

As a traveler, I always have with me a reusable water bottle. This is one way where I can reduce my garbage footprint when I explore. It cuts down my purchases on small bottled water which then reduces my pet bottle waste.

I have adopted the same principle now when I head up to work. I often find myself buying soda in pet bottles and you know where those bottles end up after. So I now bring with me my reusable travel water bottle to work. This small act have actually given me two benefits – it reduced my plastic waste from pet bottles and plastic cups and it made me healthier since I drink water more often.

Make sure that you have your own coffee cup and silver utensils in the office.

For most of the workforce, lunchtime is usually a time when we gather with fellow workmates to bond and share stories outside of the office or over delivered food at the pantry.

You can significantly reduce your plastic residue by using your coffee cup and utensils instead of the plastic utensils that go with your delivery. If everyone in the office take the same action then that is one of the first step towards a plastic-free workplace.

In one of the fitness clubs that I manage, we have taken the step of reminding our members to bring their own water bottle when they workout. We do not provide plastic cups as part of our initiative to be earth-friendly.

PET bottles make good plant boxes.

Our attempts to create an urban garden led us to a unique way of recycling big soda pet bottles as plant boxes. I read about it on the internet and put it into use instead of buying plastic boxes for our plants.

Your urban garden does not only recycle the plastic bottles but it also creates a greener and cleaner environment in your home.

 

There are a lot of creative ways to reduce, recycle and re-use plastic and, with these initiatives, plastic waste is reduced. When you come across one, apply and share the initiative with others. A collective effort is already a huge step in helping the environment.

And by sharing your own tips on how to reduce plastic in your everyday dealings, you are already doing a big part in this movement.

A Year With PDiggy

Exactly a year ago, a shift in power came into play when a city mayor became the first Philippine President to come from Mindanao. This change came after a divisive election campaign that had me taking my armour and getting into the frontlines. I fought for him and I voted for him. And yes, I do not have regrets having done so and I am mighty proud to be a Dutertard.

As his first year come to pass, we are now getting these supposed “report cards” and evaluations from different politicians. Those who are aligned with him have given them all their praises and those who do not like him have romped up all their negatives against him. They can say anything that they want but THE one thing that really matters in the political arena is the pulse of the people he serves. This is where PDiggy reigns with high grades. You can say anything and everything but MY President has the support of the majority – the true sense of democracy.

Let me share with you my personal thoughts about why my trust in PDiggy kept its ground.

PDiggy is the President void of the pomp and pageantry.

PDiggy is void of the pomp and pageantry that we got used to from the previous administrations. He kept his character without conforming to the usual ways of traditional politicians. He says what he says and he acts the way he needs to act as a leader defined by him not by what others dictate. Others may be dismayed by his supposed lack of “class” that they have always associated with Philippine Presidency. His ways and means make him stand out as a leader – PDiggy has given us himself without the pretensions.

Furthermore, his supposed street character is what endeared him to MAJORITY of the Filipinos who propelled him to the Presidency. It is the same character that he lives by to this today thus sending the message that what we saw in him then is the same that we see now. It was not just mere propaganda. He was not someone trying to be someone else just to get the nod of people. He is a man of no pretension.

PDiggy is a President of servitude.

The truth stand that, with PDiggy, Filipinos go first. H has played his cards very well in the international arena by weighing in on which international relationship will be most beneficial for us. At last, we have managed to get US hands off our necks from their tightened hold. He has managed to open our doors to other countries rather than focusing on just one. He was not too eager to please Uncle Sam but was more focused on what would be the best for Filipinos.

Yes, he spent a lot of international travels but let us not disregard the huge benefits that we are getting from these trips in terms of assistance and projects. His “Build, Build, Build” program is geared on addressing infrastructure requirements necessary to our growing economy.

It is amazing how PDiggy placed Filipinos first in his agenda. He speaks and acts based on how he can make things better for Filipinos. As I have said before, his words and actions strike close to home. Case in point, who would have thought that we can have our own 911 emergency line? While others scoffed at the idea, here he was making it happen. He is a President who wants to put the basics in place for everyone, and not just for the privileged few.

The same spirit of servitude resonates with his cabinet secretaries, barring a few. We see a more personal approach during human crisis. We see a more responsive government through him. We are finally experiencing a government that is working for us.

PDiggy and his personal touch.

Nothing will PDiggy’s personal touch on issues. It was a welcome relief to see a President visiting the wakes of fallen heroes without the usual fanfare. He cries with them as he consoles their widows and assures them of government support. You feel his sincerity when he wraps his arms on a grieving relative and you feel the genuine smile that he shares with his supporters. Again, what we see is what we get.

His compassion towards Filipinos cannot be undermined. His sincerity precedes him and you actually feel it. Here is a President who reaches out, not for the fanfare of politics, but because he feels that it is his obligation. Here is a President that Filipinos can really relate to whether in words or actions.

PDiggy’s detractors can say all that they want against him but one thing that they cannot dispel are his words and actions are enough to defend him. People believe and trust him because of what he has given us on his first year of Presidency – the feeling that we are finally cared for. He was able to show Filipinos that “kaya naman pala” if a person leads with a heart for the Filipinos. He was able to define a brand of leadership that Filipinos need and should look for in our future leaders.

As one political analyst puts it… PDiggy is a tough leader who makes tough decisions and actions when the Filipino’s welfare is at stake but, at the end of the day, he will always be a “tatay” who will always make the best decisions for his family.

Lessons From A Dad

I have been a dad to a lovely pretty girl for the past 9 years and still counting. I guess I am one of those lucky dads who have an “unica ija” that I can also say that is a daddy’s girl. Her pet name evolved from “my baby girl” to “my little girl” to the present “my dalaginding”. Trust me, I am not excited with the prospect of changing it again anytime soon. She is growing up very fast. But one thing will always remain as she grows up – she will always be daddy’s “chukoy”.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let me share with you some of the lessons that I picked up along the way as a dad.

Ask your kid “How was your day?” every day.

After a long day at work and in school, I always make it a point to ask Asher how her day went. It is my opportunity where I get her to share with me the highlights of her day. I get to congratulate her for her small wins ad console her for a bad one. It is the window of opportunity where I get to see how he handles her daily routine, how she reacts on situations, and what excites her.

You will be surprised that after a couple of “”How was your day?” with your kid, they will start asking you the same question when you get home. It is a good habit for communication.

Let their creativity flow.

With the advent of social media and the advances in technology, kids have more channels where they can work and share their creativity.

Asher enjoys the app “musically” so much where she gets to express herself through movement and music. I was annoyed at first because she spends a lot of time on it. But when I stumbled upon one of her posts where she was expressing herself through dancing, I was amazed at the intensity of her expression. I was in awe that a very young age she can already express her creativity to own the song with her movement.

We let her explore her creative side in different mediums at a very young age. Interestingly, her creativity now manifests itself on social media.

Let your kids play with their creativity and let their imagination run free while they are still young.

Let your kids know and explore your passion.

Asher knows that I love to travel locally and, when the opportunity presents itself, I tag her along with me. Apart from our personal Instgram accounts (follow us on IG – @marc7del and @payatnalaskwatero), we also share an IG travel account – @thetravelingdada, which stands for “the traveling dad and daughter”. We also have our shared hashtag -#JournalsOfTheTravelingDaDa. Both the IG account and hashtag share our travel stories.

I always shared with Asher two of my passions – local travel and mobile photography. This is my way of imparting to her the lesson of being a proud Pinoy by going out and exploring the Philippines. Our travels have brought us to the northern tip of Ilocos to the southern tip of Palawan, close to the borders of Sabah, this year alone. We have hiked to catch a glimpse of Kabigan Falls, ziplined in Bukidnon, white water rafted in Cagayan de Oro, and made our way to three of Iligan’s waterfalls on a habal-habal. It is a different kind of adventure when you travel with your kid to these amazing destinations but what makes it memorable is watching their eyes glow in wonder and awe during the trip.

The home and the classroom are not the only venues where your child can learn. There is a bigger world that both you and your kids can explore.

Teach you kid about responsibility.

Teach your kids to be responsible on things that they can handle like carrying their schoolbag or fixing their play area. AND you got to start them young.

This is where I am facing a lot of challenges right now. Asher is used to having someone around who will be there to help her out even on the smallest things. Now we changing the mechanism in the house where we ask her to do small house tasks so that we can teach her about responsibility. This part is still a work-in-progress for both me and Asher and she is starting to get the hang of it.

Be a kid.

I guess the best part of being a dad is I get to be a kid again. I play around with Asher like I am also a nine year old kid. I can easily play the part that she wants me to play. I can join her while she makes videos, making the same funny expressions that she does. We love making funny faces on cam. I am not afraid to make funny dance movements while joining her dance.

I guess I never really saw myself as the “stern” dad as I always had been a wacky person so it is a lot easier for me to be a kid when I am around with Asher. Of course when we do that, Asher’s mom goes haywire because it was as if she has two kids under her care. But stepping into the shoes of my nine year old makes me see how she sees the world. It also gives her another playmate to play around with. She will only be a kid for a certain period of time so I might as well join the fun.

Being a dad is a challenge but it is a very fulfilling experience. It comes with a ton of responsibilities but the rewards are endless. On my part, I have earned myself a “kakulitan” partner and a travel buddy with my nine year old. It has given me a lot of memories and a lot of what-else-is-there-to-see. I am excited to see her grow up to becoming a beautiful lady both inside and out but like what I always tell Asher… please do not grow up too fast.

The Fall of Idiots at A Time of Crisis

They say that great leaders rise at a time of great crisis and I totally agree with that. On the other side of the fence is the fact that at the same time of crisis, we also get to see the great fall of total idiots. I mean when we pick up a stick, we get both ends, right?

And seriously with the recent #MarawiClash, I had so much fun watching idiots fall flat on their faces with all their shared thoughts. Nasty and feisty at the start, they end up getting burned to the pulp by individuals who simply raised the level of their game by fact checking. Yes, these self-proclaimed “guardians” have every right to exercise their right of free speech and, as part of the freedom, also exercise their right to look stupid to their audience.

At the onset of the #MarawiClash, we had Leah Navarro taking the helm of the offensive against PDiggy, who happened to be in Russia at the time, with her hashtag – #NasaanAngPangulo. She reasoned that this was a time that the Marawi people needed him to be in the country and PDiggy was not in sight. It was an obvious swipe at the President similar to what VP Leni got when she proceeded with her US vacation despite the threat of a typhoon hitting Bicol.

Dutertards werequick to defend the President and I must say that they did it with flair. Miss Navarro failed to understand three crucial points in her offensive stance:

  1. PDiggy was on an official working trip to Russia at the time of the #MarawiClash, meaning he was at work, while that of VP Leni’s was a personal vacation… simply on a US vacation. That spells out a big difference.
  2. The clash was unexpected unlike the typhoon that was expected to hit the Bicol area.

These two points alone were enough to crush he attempts to discredit PRRD but using the hashtag, #NasaanAngPangulo, was the biggest clincher of all. The hashtag originated when the former PNoy, whom she supports to the tee, was attending a car event in Laguna while the remains of the Mamasapano heroes were arriving at Villamor Airbase. She unwittingly used a hashtag that was actually a swipe to the former President. In short, she used the hashtag that was actually an insult to PNoy. I guess it was her way of showing how much she loves and supports the former President.

The best part of it was when PDiggy made his statement “Don’t be afraid, I am coming home.” It totally knocked her wits out and that completely shut her up. I guess #NasaanSiLeahNavarro is a more appropriate hashtag at this time.

Of course, Jim Paredes wouldn’t pass up on the chance to put some relevance to his supposed “paninindigan” by citing the Zamboanga Siege. He said that that PNoy did not declare Martial Law at that time. Again, Dutertards were quick to put up a line of defence citing the mishandling of the situation by the previous administration.

On my end, I will simply put it as PNoy’s non-declaration of Martial Law then was NOT because of the circumstances but because his hands were tied to simply not to. Declaring Martial Law was never an option for PNoy. Simply think about the irony to have Ninoy and Cory fight against Martial Law only to be installed by their ONLY son even if it is just in Zamboanga City. It was more of an “iwas-pusoy” for PNoy. Let us face it that among all Philippine Presidents, it is the Aquinos who will never declare Martial Law even if needed. Again, it would be ironic.

I do not think former PNoy would be that stupid to make that move unless Jim Paredes have a different view of the former President’s intellect.

Over and above everyone is Raissa Robles and her failed attempts to carve out something for herself on the issue. It was actually amusing to watch her attack and fall flat on her face, only to rise up and fall flat again. It was like watching a circus where she was the clown and the social media users were her audience. It was dumb as f*ck but fairly amusing.

Her first attempt was an attack on Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte when she issued guidelines for her constituents in the light of the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao by PDiggy. Miss Robles questioned the authority of the esteemed Mayor in her issuance of the said guidelines.

Prior to even reading Miss Robles’ tweet, I already read through the said guidelines released by Mayor Duterte. The guidelines were informing Davaoenos the basics of what to do and what to expect in Davao. It was intended for residents of Davao City coming from their local government head. I found it appropriate for the Mayor to take such concrete action as an attempt to quench any apprehension on the ML declaration. It was meant to inform, educate, tone down apprehensions, and guide Davaoenos.

Of course, Raissa Robles’ attempt to make it look inappropriate made her fall flat on her face straight into the mud. I read it and it was quite clear that it was Mayor Duterte’s guidelines to her constituents and, seriously as Mayor of Davao, she has the right to issue it. Mayor Sara was simply in the hood when she slammed Robles’ with her backlash and she was on point – if only Miss Robles read through it first before tweeting.

Still not done, another tweet comes through a few days after. This time hitting on Davao on their alleged refusal to accommodate Marawi refugees considering that Iligan and Cotabato were accommodating. The tweet simply had me laughing out loud. I guess most of the social media users were laughing their hearts out, as well.

A quick look at google maps would show that Iligan and Cotabato are the closest cities to Marawi. Davao is a long way down south. Miss Robles seemed to have misunderstood that when people flee a battle area, people seek refuge to the nearest city so Iligan and Cotabato are the best options. No one in the right mind would think of going to Davao first because of the DISTANCE unless they are planning to migrate or take a vacation. She seemed to have missed out that people fleeing Marawi are seeking refuge, not planning a field trip. Again geographically, you seek refuge to the closest city that you can go to especially when you only have a few belongings and valuables with you.

A simple toggling on the phone would have saved her the embarrassment. The funny thing is that she is still justifying that Davao will not accept refugees from Marawi even if there were no statements confirming her claim. I seriously think that it is simply her attempt to regain herself. Nevertheless, she is the obvious runaway winner for this round of idiots’ game. She fell and she fell mighty hard.

The best leaders rise during the most difficult times but it also shows stupidity at its finest. In this case, the #MarawiClash had me more amused with the idiots attempting to make themselves look smart in an arena where they really play hard. #SimplyAmusing.

 

#NaMochaYo

I guess the recent Assistant Secretary of the PCOO appointment of Mocha Uson is probably the best “pie-in-your-face” moment for all her detractors. I could imagine the horrified look on their faces when the appointment was announced. As expected, her detractors were up on their toes denouncing the move by questioning her background, raising her past, and questioning her qualifications. But one thing that you cannot deny is that she has redeemed herself, leaving her detractors completely muddied and embarrassed.

First up, I was never a huge fan of Mocha and I only get to read up on her when her detractors are up in arms over something she said or something that came up just like her appointment. I never read her posts so I have no proof whatsoever that she is responsible for spreading fake news as what her detractors would commonly say. All I know at this point is that she is a huge supporter of the PDiggy with a huge following on social media.

As always, the first thing that her detractors raise against her is her past having gone through the sexy image route to penetrate the showbiz industry. She did make a stir and has a created her own niche. Unfortunately, this past, emphasis on the past, has been used and abused by her detractors. It has come to a point where a person that I follow on twitter would retweet Mocha’s tweets with sexual color almost everyday. But here is the thing, these tweets were posted years ago, long before this newfound fame she is enjoying now. This guy really takes the time to go back to memory lane just to smear Mocha Uson.

But if this would be used as a point against her then, to be fair with everyone, we should also ask those who are in public office who came from the same route to vacate their positions, right? This would include the likes of Vilma Santos, Jestoni Alarcon, and Richard Gomez who also went sexy at one point in their career in the entertainment industry. I mean, let us put these people in the same box. The same goes with G Toengi who ironically used this card against Mocha, not realizing that she was also once an ST star.

The point being is simple, people can drastically change their lives depending on their conviction. Yes, it is possible to make that 360-degree change in a snap and that is what we are seeing in Mocha Uson at this point. Honestly, what I am starting to admire about her is the way that she is handling the criticisms. She does not let her past haunt her or affect what she is doing now but instead focuses on what she can do better at present.

Another point of contention by her detractors are her qualifications. Some have even came to the point of saying that she does not deserve the salary grade that she is in and that they deserve it more. Others compare that salary grade with others below it hoping to initiate that ill feeling from those who receive less.

Let me emphasize two arguments on this one – the salary grade and her qualifications.

Qualifications-wise, Mocha Uson is a distinguished alumni of the University of Santo Tomas. Yes, she is a college graduate contrary to what her detractors are trying to paint against her. Although she did not proceed to becoming a medical technologist, she has established herself in the entertainment industry prior to becoming an active supporter and staunch defender of PDiggy. Again, her detractors would argue that the only qualification that she only had for being appointed by the PDiggy was the latter’s “utang na loob”.

We need to understand that the role that she was assigned to directly handles social media and, with a social media following of close to 5 Million and with a high rate of interaction, Mocha Uson is a more likely candidate for the role. PDiggy’s strategy is to reach out to the masses and he needs someone who can easily do that. Whether you like it or not, Mocha stands out on this aspect. What the President needs is someone whom he can trust to simply get the info out there to his constituents. If I were in the same position, I would make the same tactical management decision of installing someone who I know is a staunch supporter and someone that I can trust. I mean why would you install someone who will just simply be a headache, right? No offense meant, VP Leni.

As for the salary grade, this has been mandated by law ever since and it is not simply within the whims of PDiggy so to use it against her is completely idiotic. Now to use it as a comparison to your sorry being is a lot more idiotic. If you feel that you deserve that kind of salary grade then I suggest that you go to your direct superior and present that argument to them. They would have a better explanation as to why you are not getting that kind of salary and give you a career growth plan of how to get there. Hopefully, your direct superior will also be able to whack your head and wake you up to the reality that you are not as good as you think you are.

I really think that her appointment was a triple whammy to her detractors. I mean they do not realize that they also played the part of making her a popular personality on social media with all the insults and reactions that they throw at her. They easily played their part for her to get this following and eventually to becoming an Assistant Secretary. To make matters worse, they cannot easily put down her Facebook page or Twitter account now considering that her new appointment legitimizes her as a communications officer of the government. It would be stupid for Facebook to shut down the page of the Assistant Secretary for Social Media of the Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippines, right?

I guess, Mocha Uson just went on an attack from behind and simply gave her detractors the gift of a hashtag – #NaMochaYo!