Archive for November, 2009
The Ampatuan (Maguindanao) Massacre: Violence Ad Nauseum
Posted on: 30th of November 2009 | Under: Thoughts & Emotions

A day after Efren Peñaflorida’s CNN Hero of the Year Award, the whole country was instantly robbed of its moment of pride when news of a ruthless crime that took place in Maguindanao alarmed the entire nation. 57 Dead in The Ampatuan (Maguindanao) Massacre.

This interactive map and timeline follows the hurriedly, but obviously planned, execution of the massacre.

Philippines Hostages Killed

Photos quickly spread all over the internet, showing the result of the gruesome crime. It breaks my heart (time so search for affordable health insurance?) every time I see the massacre photos.

It irks me knowing that the underlying core to the brutality is nothing but the excessive Lust for Political Power. The suspected mastermind: The Ampatuan warlord clan, known to be favored and protected by none other than President GMA herself. Even more appalling is the evidence pointing persons from the government’s own military and police as direct perpetrators too.

What a shame!

I bleed at the thought of the defenseless victims being tortured like animals to their deaths. It just sickens me how anyone is capable of committing such a horrendous and merciless act. Calling the perpetrators inhumane and barbaric isn’t even enough. Only the works of a monster can be associated to a crime like that!

Violent killings are reported to be “a common thing” in Mindanao. Especially in association with politics. But the mere fact that murder in Mindanao is generalized and accepted as “a common thing” is wrong in itself. Why must we tolerate such acts and just accept that they are common? Doesn’t the Philippine law strictly condemn and enforce a strong hand against crimes, most especially heinous ones like these? Clearly, the government has failed (again and again!) in implementing the rule of law in maintaining peace, justice and order in Mindanao.

I just hope this ordeal can serve as a wake up call for our government. May they put personal and political relationships aside and transparently investigate/prosecute every single person (even members of the security force too) responsible.  Justice must be served!

Ang Galing ng Pinoy!
Posted on: 22nd of November 2009 | Under: Thoughts & Emotions

Pushcart EducatorMy Sunday afternoon was greeted with another bout of Filipino Pride upon hearing the news that Efren Peñaflorida was officially named the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

What an inspiration, not only to Filipinos, but to other nationalities all over the world too. In a world full violence, terrorism, corruption and greed, it is uplifting to know that there are still selfless people out there who truly care about helping others.

I reckon we all have hidden desires to be heroes ourselves. Most of the time, we’re all just afraid to take that first step. Peñaflorida’s speech was a great reminder that the desire and will to see change and do good is in our very own selves.

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.

So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers … you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.”

Efren Peñaflorida,
Filipino pushcart educator named 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

Mabuhay ang Pinoy! :)

Bintan Getaway – Day 2
Posted on: 12th of November 2009 | Under: Travel Junkie

** Day 1 of our Bintan Getaway posted HERE.

Since it was our last day at the resort, we planned to wake up early enough to be able to catch the sunrise and squeeze in as many activities as we could before having to leave. We wanted to go biking, take the nature walk, then maybe try the Laser Quest. Unfortunately, we were so comfortable under the covers that we absentmindedly snoozed our alarms four or five times, resulting to us missing the sunrise by almost two hours. By that time, all we could just think about was food, so we headed down to the restaurant for our complimentary breakfast buffet.

We filled our plates with pancakes, bacon, sausages and egg, then had cereals and chicken curry with rice too.

Chicken Curry

We forgot to take photos of the other food, so we resorted to just taking photos of each other just to capture the moment. =P



The boyfie.

The boyfie.

We scrapped our initial plans to try out the other resort activities and walked down to the main pool instead. We just had to. This view was just so inviting:

Main Pool

Bintan Lagoon Resort in HDR.


Bintan Getaway – Day 1
Posted on: 11th of November 2009 | Under: Travel Junkie

Only fifty-five minutes away by ferry from Singapore, Bintan Indonesia is quite a popular travel destination for Singapore residents. We’ve heard a number of good reviews about the small tropical paradise, so JR and I decided to take an overnight getaway for some rest and relaxation.

We booked a room at Bintan Lagoon Resort, and as soon as we got out of the ferry terminal, we hopped on the free shuttle service that took us to the resort.

Shuttle Ride

All throughout the twenty-minute ride to the resort, we were greeted with lush greenery left and right. We had our eyes glued to the pretty view outside our windows the whole time that it made the journey seem shorter. We were just admiring the sight of wild monkeys lounging by the side of the road, when our bus finally turned into the resort entrance.

And as soon as we got off the bus, we were served cold refreshments and greeted with welcome dancers.

Welcome Dancers