raving


Yesterday, the 16th day of Goldilocks Strike was a victorious day for the Goldilocks Workers. It was truly a remarkable day for the workers who made a milestone in pursuing their basic right to strike and successfully forged an agreement with the management to break the impasse.

Through the conciliatory efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment, both parties agreed to end the strike on the basis of the following;

1. Effective March 27, the day after the lifting of the strike, status quo for all striking workers should be enforced without any sanctions.
2. For the 94 illegally dismissed striking workers, they are all payroll reinstated upon the lifting of the strike and will take effect until the Court of Appeals has finally ruled on the motion for reconsideration filed by Buklod on the issue of Certification Election and another 60 days time frame for the execution of the said ruling. In the event that the time frame for the implementation of the Certification Election will not be realized, a negotiation for the extension of the time frame would then be decided by both parties. Payroll reinstatement covers not only their salary but also all the benefits due them as regular employee.
3. For the purpose of pursuing a speedy implementation of Certification Election, a special body would be created composed of selective officials from the BLR-DOLE.
4. No retaliatory actions by both parties will be observed.

The Goldilocks strike added a new dimension to the present day struggle of the Filipino workers. For nearly a decade now, the Filipino workers in general were totally devastated as to the ill effects of the onslaught of globalization. Despite the threats and hardships, the Goldilocks workers stood their ground and their courage taught us a lesson that nothing is impossible for as long as you exercise your right on just grounds.

The Goldilocks workers proved that they can withstand the long and tedious strike, fought and frustrate the attempts of the management to break their ranks and lastly, their grim determination to win and openness to all forms of struggle.

We from the BMP (Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino) salute the bravery of the Goldilocks workers. We believe that what they have done will usher a new complexion for the struggle of the Filipino workers.

We also commend the undying support from all our friends, allies and network in the labor front as well as those from various sectors, groups and institutions that one way or another helped us achieve total victory for the Goldilocks workers.

/March 27, 2010

From the very start that BPI approved my credit card, I never failed to make the most of the instant benefits they offer called Real Thrills. For the last segment of their promo alone (Jollibee), I got about six 1-piece Chicken Joy meals, a 2-piece Chicken Joy meal with Peach-Mango Pie and a 6-piece Chicken Joy bucket. That is aside from the loyalty points I get and the discounts I could avail of because my card is the BPI Edge type.

For the next three months or so (February to April 15), you can get free food (Chorizo Chao Fan or SpicyPork Mushroom Rice) from Chowking if you use your BPI credit card for at least P1,500 of charge. Better options are also available if your charge slip reflects a minimum of P3,000 (Fish Fillet/Breaded Pork Lauriat or Dimsum Platter or Halo-halo Fiesta) or P6,000 (Sulit Salu-Salo Set 1) spent.

For now, I only have a single P3,000-charge slip in my wallet and will soon use it in the most convenient time (in my next mall visit may be). Anyway, I still have until April 15 to get the most out of it and until June 15 to redeem these treats.

Just imagine that, for the next two months, my every visit to the supermarket is equal to a free meal. Who says there’s no such thing as free lunch then? ;p

October 15, Thursday
Before You Know It – 2 p.m.
Gas – 4:30 p.m.
The Viceroys – 7 p.m.
Smalltown, Italy – 9:30 p.m.

October 16, Friday
The Fever – 2 p.m.
Mater Natura – 4:30 p.m.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – 7 p.m.
The Heretic – 9:30 p.m.

October 17, Saturday
One Out of Two – 2 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 4:30 p.m.
The True Legend of Tony Vilar – 7 p.m.
Gas – 9:30 p.m.

October 18, Sunday
Caravaggio – 2 p.m.
The True Legend of Tony Vilar – 4:30 p.m.
Mater Natura – 7 p.m.
The Destination – 9:30 p.m.

October 19, Monday
The Heretic – 2 p.m.
The Fever – 4:30 p.m.
One Out of Two – 7 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 9:30 p.m.

October 20, Tuesday
Smalltown, Italy – 2 p.m.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – 4:30 p.m.
Caravaggio – 7 p.m.
Before You Know It – 9:30 p.m.

October 21, Wednesday
The Destination – 2 p.m.
The Fever – 4:30 p.m.
What I’m Doing Here – 7 p.m.
The Viceroys – 9:30 p.m.

Are you tired of just ranting about your company rules?

My friend Nica Dumlao informed me that the Employees’ League in ICT-enabled Services (E-Lites) is sponsoring a Seminar-Workshop for workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry this Saturday and Sunday (September 19 & 20) at Gems Hotel in Antipolo City.

She also said that the aforementioned event will be about the Philippine Labor Code, International Labor Standards, and Occupational Safety & Health. The event is entirely free of charge.

E-Lites is the group behind the free concert event for BPO employees at the Penguin Bar in Malate last year.

UPDATE: For those interested in reserving a slot, simply proceed to Chowking Cubao (beside Eurotel) 10am on Saturday and text/call me at 09167706376 or email me (nearestcomfortroom@yahoo.com).

I learned from my blogger-friend Brian Ong that The Lobby of The Peninsula Manila turns 33 today, and they are offering their halo halo harana, pancit luglog and schueblig  at 1976 prices (yes, 33 pesos each), the date the hotel opened 33 years ago.

I also learned that the promotion will be strictly on no-reservations and first-come/first-serve basis and that drinks and items not on the rollback list will be regularly priced.They also won’t allow takeout orders and sharing. This will be a one-day only promotion only from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

I hope my Makati-based (either as residents or employees) friends could grab this opportunity since my chances are dim. Haha.

Shangri-La Plaza
Eiga Sai 2009 Screening Schedule

July 2 (Thu)
7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 3 (Fri)
2:00 PM
Tony Takitani

4:30 PM
Turn Over

7:00 PM
Kamome Diner

July 4 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

4:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

July 5 (Sun)
2:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

4:30 PM
Mind Game

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

July 6 (Mon)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Mind Game

7:00 PM
Turn Over

July 7 (Tue)
2:00 PM
Turn Over

4:30 PM
Kamome Diner

7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 8 (Wed)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Tony Takitani

7:00 PM
Mind Game

July 9 (Thu)
2:00 PM
Turn Over

4:30 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

7:00 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

July 10 (Fri)
2:00 PM
The Milkwoman

4:30 PM
Memories of Matsuko

7:00 PM
Tony Takitani

July 11 (Sat)
2:00 PM
Kamome Diner

4:30 PM
Tony Takitani

7:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

July 12 (Sun)
2:00 PM
Mind Game

4:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

7:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

UP Film Institute
Eiga Sai 2009 Screening Schedule

Aug 14 (Fri)
12:30 PM
ALWAYS – Sunset on Third Street

3:00 PM
Tony Takitani

Aug 15 (Sat)
4:00 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

6:30 PM
Memories of Matsuko

Aug 17 (Mon)
4:00 PM
Mind Game

6:30 PM
The Milkwoman

Aug 18 (Tue)
4:00 PM
Tony Takitani

6:30 PM
Turn Over

Aug 19 (Wed)
4:00 PM
Kamome Diner

6:30 PM
Memories of Tomorrow

Aug 20 (Thu)
4:00 PM
Memories of Matsuko

6:30 PM
Kamome Diner

for provincial (Baguio, Cebu & Davao) screenings, please check: http://www.jfmo.org.ph/events_eigasai09-schedule.html

The possibility of the Supreme Court being dominated by Arroyo-appointees has been the subject of political discussions for several months now. And since then, I’ve been trying to look for someone to support though I know I don’t have a say as I am not even a lawyer nor a politician.

I still would like to support someone so as to provide the necessary antagonism as Gloria is expected to simply pick the one who can deliver the needed political vote for her continuous reign at the Palace. One of the most awaited political decisions (though an actual legal controversy and a case of merit are yet to happen) of the Supreme Court would be the procedures for a Con-Ass; Gloria’s preferred mode of charter change and one of the methods to prolong her hold to power.

With this, I’d prefer that the next SC Justice be very vocal of his view on how the Constitution provides Congress the power to amend the charter. And that is how I’ve been conducting some research on the issue.

Only recently, I’ve heard that CA Associate Justice Hakim Abdulwahid, in a session of grilling by the Judicial and Bar Council, said that, “The voting should be separate. In local legislation it is separate. Moreso in respect to charter change.”

That for me is courageous as he knows that it could spell the end of his aspiration for a seat in the high tribunal. And given the situation and the number of seats that would be vacant, that is, in my opinion, enough to support Justice Abdulwahid’s bid to the SC.

And as I research about him, I have read that other people and groups are supporting Abdulwahid. They have varied reasons though but it is the 10 Muslim Congressmen’s mention of the 1996 GRP-MNLF Accord that caught my interest. They cited that the said agreement provides that it shall be our national policy to have at least one SC Justice and at least two CA Justices from among the qualified jurists in ARMM. Further research informed me that the first and only Muslim appointed in the SC was Justice Abdulwahid Bidin back in 1987, Cory’s time.

Well, that’s their reason. And as I’m not a legal expert nor a lawmaker, I’d rather support him with a reason as simple as my opposition to the Gloria Forever Plan.

The 14th French Film Festival here in Manila is now on-going and here’s the screening schedule:

June 5, Friday
Home – 7:30 p.m.

June 6, Saturday
Un Secret- 12:30 p.m.
Ca Brûle – 3:00 p.m.
Jean de la Fontaine – 5:30 p.m.
Van Gogh – 8:00 p.m.

June 7, Sunday
Home – 12:30 p.m.
Marie-Jo et Ses Deux Amours – 3:00 p.m.
Flandres – 5:30 p.m.
Ma Saison Preferee – 8:00 p.m.

June 8, Monday
Van Gogh – 12:30pm
Flandres – 3:30 p.m.
Ca Brûle – 5:30 p.m.
Zim et Co – 8:00 p.m.

June 9, Tuesday
Zim et Co – 12:30pm
Marie-Jo et Ses Deux Amours – 3:00 p.m.
Flandres – 5:30 p.m.
Jean de la Fontaine – 8:00 p.m.

June 10, Wednesday
Ca Brûle – 12:30pm
Home – 3:00 p.m.
Van Gogh – 5:30 p.m.
Un Secret – 8:30 p.m.

June 11, Thursday
Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard – 12:30pm
400 coups – 3:00 p.m.
L’esquive – 5:30 p.m.
La Pianiste – 8:00 p.m.

June 12, Friday
Sabongero – 3:00 p.m.
Serbis – 5:30 p.m.
Independencia – 8:00 p.m.

June 13, Saturday
Ridicule – 12:30 p.m.
Dix-Sept Fois Cecile Cassard – 3:00 p.m.
L ‘Esquive – 5:30 p.m.
Flandres – 8:00 p.m.

June 14, Sunday
Un Secret – 12:30pm
Jean de la Fontaine – 3:00 p.m.
Les Quatre Cent Coups – 5:30 p.m.
Van Gogh – 8:00 p.m.

Months ago, I was about to write a blog entry for Francis Magalona to encourage readers to support his fight against leukemia. But as I research about him, I stumbled upon his request that his battle not be made too public and his family’s privacy be respected. So I decided not to proceed then.

Until the time to write a tribute came. Francism once wrote on his blog that, “I guess if we just loved our country so much we would be willing to die for it. I would. But a dead me is a useless me. I am more useful alive…”. I beg to disagree though. I believe that any dead person who lived a life relevant to society serves as an inspiration for everyone to be just like him. And the Master Rapper is one of those.

Arguably, Francism’s musical career boom started when he popularized rap music in the Philippines through the nationalistic tune of “Mga Kababayan” in 1990. This moralist approach, a broader definition of nationalism, to Philippine society fits my generation well that time. I was in grade school then. His songs, album after album, became more mature as he ventures into other social approaches; from Ito ang Gusto Ko’s direct action to Nilamon ng Sistema’s social realism.

And then high school days came, Francism is still there. And he is one of those who never succumbed to the artificial war of hiphop and metal. I know a lot of the former teenagers of that time knows what I’m talking about. Despite being in such a situation, the Man from Manila dared to unite the music of the two factions. He set-up the Psychedelic Posse for the hip-hop kids and the Kannabiz Band (I don’t know if this was eventually the Hardware Syndrome during the mid-90’s) for the children of metal. His wife Pia’s Evil Step-Sisters, then, added the soul flavor to his music.

It is with his daring and no non-sense attitude that Francism gained the respect of Filipino musicians from Masta Plann to The Dawn, from APO Hiking Society to Joey de Leon. No wonder that, time and again, he was being invited by a lot of artists to be a guest on their albums and shows. The Eraserhead-song Superproxy is one of the most famous of these.

Even after the Eraserheads’ break-up in 2002, the Master Rapper remained true to his unifying ideals. He resisted the temptation of taking sides and continued to collaborate with each of the Philippine Fab Four individually.

And when Ely Buendia had a heart attack in 2007, he is the first celebrity to publicly raise the call of Eraserhead unity. His now-popular blog entry is supposedly the opening sentence of my blog when I learned of his leukemia and this is how it goes:

“Fast forward to right now, 9:58 am, Jan. 9, a lot of what if’s scenarios pop in my head. What if the E-heads members are back, like long-lost blood brothers? What if ‘the most significant OPM band of Pinoy Rock’ would be in one room, what would happen?… Para sa akin panahon na para mag-reunite ang E-heads. Sugod na mga kapatid…rock & roll na hanggang umaga.” 

One of the most difficult things to measure is how anyone influenced society. We really don’t know if Francism’s earlier patriotic tunes influenced the massive mobilizations against the US Bases that led to its ejection in September 1991. We really don’t know how his blog entry made the Eraserheads’ forget about their differences and give reunification a chance. Well, there are no meters nor celsius for influence measurement.

Surely though, we have someone to thank for the influential music he gave us.

Francis M is dead. Long live Francis M!

During one of my visits at the Kaisa Headquarters in time for the upcoming USC Elections in UP Diliman, Sanlakas Youth Vice Chair BJ Costales introduced three of his slatemates for an orientation to our organization.

They are BJ’s co-councilor Jose Alinea of the College of Engineering, Tourism Representative Sheena Botiwey and Science Representative Gino Leynes.

Each one of them exudes a leader’s presence at first glance and they were eventually recruited to Sanlakas Youth.  I had a couple of chit-chats with each of them hours after but Jose’s story is the most interesting for me. His story speaks alot of his character.

Jose is one of the living reasons why the tuition increase should not have been approved two years ago. He is also one of the greatest arguments in support of the assertion that the STFAP has never been effective to aid poor-but-deserving students in pursuing UP education.

This Sta. Rosa Science High School alumnus told me that both his parents are unemployed. His mother was actually problematic about his college education after he failed to qualify for Bracket C of the STFAP. So despite his family’s obvious difficult condition, UP is still requiring him to pay 600 pesos per unit.

It is a good thing though that through his intelligence and diligence, he managed to be a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology.

But I’ve never seen him as a grade-conscious student. All the support that he is getting from his officers and co-members from the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers speaks a lot how active he is.

And as we unify Kaisa member-organizations about a disqualification case against his and some of his slatemates’ candidacy, it turned out that NCPAGSC Vice Chair Jhai Galenzoga is one of his dormmates, at the Yakal Residence Hall, and she was disheartened of the possibility of UP students being robbed of the opportunity to vote someone like Jose.

“Napakasipag na bata pa naman ni Jose,” Jhai disappointedly commented. Well, as a frequent visitor of the Kaisa HQ and as a keen observer of candidates’ behaviour, I must agree.

That same day that I managed to inform Jhai of the disqualification issue, Kaisa marched towards Quezon Hall and met with another party, Stand UP, to protest the said USEB decision.

The unity of Kaisa and Stand UP that night bore fruit as it produced enough pressure to make the USEB decide in favor of the supposedly disqualified candidates including Jose.

That night, cheers reverberated at the Kaisa HQ in celebration of that victory. And as I observe all of them, Jose is there silently smiling in his usual unassuming way.

I hope he is thinking that it is a good thing that he is now given a chance to fight for the rights of students like him; of working class origin.

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