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Rosary for a saintly drug load

Much Ado About A Rosary | Of course, you can expect the Liberal Party and their mainstream media toadies to spread this little story as far and wide as they could, and use this angle as validation of their political party’s “holiness”. Friends and allies of the so-called “Yellows” rejoiced at this little piece of news, deeply believing within themselves that this small act of Pope Francis was an affirmation that indeed, the Vatican is strongly behind this sanctimonious political group boasting of “heroes” and ”saints” within their ranks. (If I were the Pope, I would have sent rosaries to families of illegal drugs victims instead. Not to drug lords and/or their protectors. But that’s just me. Just an opinion from a nobody.) #PopeFrancis #LeilaDeLima #Rosary #IllegalDrugs #DrugLordsCoddler

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Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde | There was this 10-minute sequence involving Charlize Theron and at least 4 antagonists near the denouement of “Atomic Blonde” [Official Site] that really made me chuckle in awe because it seems the entire sequence was shot in one take. But observing certain elements made me realize that no, it’s not possible to do all that action and gore without any cuts. It had to be the magic of film-making. So I had to look it up and came up with this: “How the ‘Atomic Blonde’ Team Pulled Off the Incredible, 10-Minute, ‘One-Take’ Action Sequence”. But it was awesome just the same. Music-wise, I’m biased with the choice of songs in the soundtrack as these were part of my playlists growing up and it’s perfect for the time setting of the film (The Fall of the Berlin Wall). An entertaining way to kick off my weekend. #AtomicBlonde #CharlizeTheron #JamesMcAvoy

Coffee

Coffee | Don’t you just hate how one day they’ll say coffee is bad for you and then the next they’ll proclaim it’s okay or even beneficial? Well, here’s a new study saying that even three cups a day “may have health benefits”. Know what, I’ll just keep on drinking coffee everyday, at least a mug or two, until the day I die. Time to stop paying attention to all these studies. #Coffee #Health

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Globe Telecom Dividend Distribution, 2005-2016

And The Money Went To… | Because phone calls and Internet speeds in the Philippines are exorbitant even by First World standards but quality and speed almost always end up in the bottom of the global barrel, one can’t help but conclude that the business oligarchs in control of the Telecommunication duopoly in the country are just plain, well, greedy. And finding out that these two companies are actually majority controlled by entities from foreign countries — Indonesia for PLDT/SMART Telecommunications and Singapore for Globe Telecom — makes one believe that our local oligarchs only care about gobbling up their share of the multi-billion dollar pie with no regard for fair pricing and service quality at par with global standards.

PLDT/SMART Communications Dividend Declaration, 2005-2016

Refer to this piece by Rigoberto Tiglao for the nitty-gritties: “Foreign firms generating super-profits from PH telecom duopoly”. You’ll be shocked by the numbers if you’re not aware of the big picture of the Philippine telco industry. I took the liberty to plot the dividend declarations for the 2 firms for a quick look at the foreign and local share of the dividend earnings pie from 2005-2016. Click on the thumbnails for bigger graphics.#Philippines #Telecommunication #Infrastructure #Duopoly #Greed #ExpensivePlans #SlowInternet

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Money Bag | Greed

New Telecom Providers | Expect the business oligarchs in the telecommunications industry and their assets in the regulatory bodies and local government units to make life miserable for new industry players that will come in to compete with the telecom duopoly. It will take years to come up with a servicable infrastructure here in Metro Manila and certainly longer on a nationwide scale especially if the efforts of the new business(es) will be stalled and sabotaged by unscrupulous elements within the dominant establishments. Maybe we can appeal to whatever humanity left in the collective hearts of players within the greedy duopoly to convince themselves to learn to play fair instead of continuously employing their Dirty Tricks Department every single time. (We can only hope they learn to temper their selfishness, they’ve enriched themselves so much for almost three decades despite pathethic service quality.) The poor Filipino people deserve better service from honest and reliable providers. #Philippines #Telecommunication #Infrastructure #Duopoly #Greed #ExpensivePlans #SlowInternet

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'Justice League' movie tickets

Justice League | Oh, I don’t give a freaking damn about reviews of film critics when it comes to movies like “Justice League” and similar entertainment fare. I’m not a judge at some artsy film festival ergo I don’t worry about being caught dead watching stuff like this. I’m still going to catch it in theaters for the sheer escape and entertainment factor. Which we did earlier today! Lucky to snag a couple of seats in a late afternoon screening at a mall cinema nearby. And if you haven’t seen it yet, you’d want to stay until the end of the film credits. #JusticeLeague

Mocha Uson

Mocha Uson | I couldn’t care less whether Mocha Uson is running for Senator in 2019 or not. If she wants to, that’s up to her. But seriously, if you don’t like her, then please do not vote for her. It is really that simple. Your holier-than-thou attitude towards her (slut-shaming her, insulting her intelligence and all that) just shows your true colors, people. And you dare call yourselves proponents of democracy and paragons of virtue.#MochaUson

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CBTL and Macbook Pro

Rumination | Sipping coffee while working on some creative endeavors on a Saturday afternoon. I missed this place in Greenhills, haven’t hang out here for almost a year since the wife and I moved to a place closer to our respective Science Park workplaces. This Saturday, we felt that we just had to go out a bit further than the usual. (Oh yeah, that big Justice League movie is already out and we were kind of hoping we’ll be able to catch it within the day. But it seems everyone in the metropolis is headed out to watch it as well perhaps we’re better off trying it again tomorrow. Or next weekend. But I digress.) I’m hoping for a good end to this year. Having free times such as this merely give me space to contemplate on life’s [could|would|should]-have-beens and it can turn out to be ugly as I tend to focus on the not-so-pretty stuff. Simply thankful for a handful of dear friends who keep me latched on to beautiful things while helping me go through this tough stretch. #MeTime #Contemplation #CreativeStuff #Saturdays

Because They Believe They’re Infallible | Constructive criticism is one thing. Tearing the institutions down with the intent of supplanting it with old/previous elements is another. Right, Teddy Baguilat? #Philippines #Opinion

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Trudeau and Aquino in 2015 (c) Philippines Canadian Inquirer

Garbage Deal? | People’s double standards can be amazing at times. I know individuals — a few of them I even call friends — who belong to well-off families, went to rich Catholic schools, and are generally nice people to be with. When it comes to politics, they are unabashedly supportive of the oligarchs instrumental in kicking the Marcoses out 31 years ago. (Well, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, just to be clear.) But on the Canada garbage issue, you’ll hardly hear a squeak from them just because it all happened under the watch of Noynoy Aquino. (So where’s the love for the country now, huh? They look the other way when their political idols are caught doing nothing or put in a bad light. Canada violated the Basel Convention and we’re just supposed to shrug it off even if our country turned out to be the one hoodwinked here?) And now there’s this information detailing how Aquino surreptitiously allowed Canada’s tons of hazardous waste to stay in the country in exchange for a few hundred jobs for Filipinos. No wonder the Yellows are silent! If that’s even true, tell me: Is it fair? So much for your “saints” and “heroes”. #BaselConvention #Canada #Philippines #LiberalParty #NoynoyAquino #Hypocrisy

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Fish Tofu

Fish Tofu @ Le Ching Tea House | Craved for something different than cafeteria fare, which is offering all pork meals for tonight. So off I went to Science Park portal to get my favorite food item from Le Ching Tea House: Fish Tofu! (Click here for the Instagram post.) Had some Har Gow (Shrimp Bonnet) on the side as well, although I don’t have a photo of that one. While devouring my scrumptious dinner, I noticed that the carrots were cut in the shape of Christmas trees. Had I noticed it before I started eating, I would have put a couple on top of the bowl for good measure before I stated snapping away. #NoteToSelf #LeChingTeaHouse #LeChing #FishTofu #HarGow #ShrimpBonnet #Cantonese #Filipino

Aung San Suu Kyi (c) Time

Aung San Suu Kyi | The Myanmar leader must have enjoyed her brief stint here in Manila for the ASEAN 2017. Her complicity in the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya was hardly brought up in the summit, overshadowed by the concerted effort by local and foreign mainstream media focus on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s human rights stance in relation to his government’s fight against illegal drugs, an endeavor totally neglected by the previous administration. The so-called “Yellows” have a soft spot for Suu Kyi ever since one of the group’s worshipped idols, Cory Aquino, started to receive slews of comparison to the Burmese icon, citing them both as “champions of democracy” several years back. (More like “champions of hypocrisy”, if you ask me.) But Cory’s magic slowly faded through the years when discerning minds saw through the phony pious veneer. The same thing is happening now to Suu Kyi, slowly being unmasked. #AungSanSuuKyi #Burma #Myanmar #Rohingya #EthnicCleansing #Hypocrisy #DoubleStandards

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Rodrigo Duterte (c) Reuters

Rodrigo Duterte and Human Rights | Know what, Mr. Duterte? Instead of cursing and threatening world leaders who question your stand on human rights, I suggest you follow the lead of your predecessor Noynoy Aquino. What did he do when global human rights watchdogs pressed the haciendado leader on human rights violations and extra-judicial killings? None. Nada. He was mum about it all. Even his minions were quiet before in stark contrast to the levels of their vociferousness now against the current leader. They even managed to delude themselves that all these were not happening during their idol’s time. Selective cries for justice? This political partisanship just dumbs everyone down, most especially the so-called well-educated and well-heeled folks who want to oust Mr. Duterte for the issues they looked the other way at when their worshipped self-styled saint was still at the Palace. Still, in all seriousness, Mr. Duterte needs to address this issue that has been ignored by past presidents for the past 30 years. #RodrigoDuterte #NoynoyAquino #HumanRightsViolations #ExtraJudicialKillings