Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grande Island Resort

Spent Friday-Saturday at Grande Island Resort, on an island right in the middle of Subic Bay.

A view of the beach on Grande Island, with the untouched mountains of Zambales in the background.

This is the 17th island of the Philippines that I have set foot on.

Also, it was my first time to travel the new Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which was just as amazing as I dreamed it would be.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2010 Presidential Roundup

There are six months to go, election season seems to have properly begun. Around a hundred dudes have filed their candidacy for president. Filter out the jokers and no-hopers, and it we seem to have a four-way race.

Here are my quick, tentative, oversimplified thoughts on the four candidates to rate higher than 1% in the latest SWS survey:
  • Noynoy Aquino. Currently perceived as the frontrunner, his most positive trait seems to be his clean image which can be a potential unifying force for the country. His famous name recalls the heroism of his father and the sincerity of his mother. Unfortunately his positive qualities seem to stop at his name. He has had a poor record as a Senator, a poor record as a Congressman, and an undistinguished private life before that. I have nothing particularly against him myself, but the empty zeal of his supporters is off-putting.
  • Manny Villar. Previously perceived as the frontrunner until the death of Noynoy's mom. He has a distinguished record as Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, and an extremely successful career in real estate. His rags-to-riches story of a self-made billionaire is something that I can appreciate. However his omnipresent self-funded campaign feels forced, and his very noticable absense from the recent forum of candidates due to a "business meeting" is disillusioning, as is his partnership with coup leaders and leftists.
  • Gibo Teodoro. Perhaps the most qualified of the candidates. His policies and his record have so far been bulletproof, and his educational history is outstanding-- bachelor's degree from DLSU, law degree from UP, master's degree from Harvard Law, and topnotcher of the Philippine bar exam. That said, he is relatively unknown, has no compelling life narrative, and as a result he lags far behind the pack. His connection to our current unloved president means he can never be a unifying force, and his presidency would undoubtedly be subjected to the same barrage of nonsense the opposition constantly aimed at Gloria.
  • Joseph Estrada. He is lazy, dishonest, incompetent, divisive, and found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of plunder. His candidacy makes no sense, is probably unconsitutional, and you'd have to be nuts to support him.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Metro Manila EZ Map

A few days ago I bought a new EZ Map street map of Metro Manila. My previous four year old map was getting outdated in places like Bonifacio Global City and the Mall of Asia complex.

Spot the three things wrong with this image:

1. The majestic highway depicted in this picture is the South Luzon Expressway and Metro Manila Skyway, at its intersection with the C-5 road near the airport. The view seen here is actually facing towards the south, and away from the City of Manila, not heading directly towards it as the picture would have you believe.

2. For whatever ridiculous reason, the image of the Manila skyline has been horizontally flipped, such that 1322 Golden Empire Tower (the tallest building in the City of Manila) is seen at the right of the skyline. This means that this particular view of the Manila skyline is impossible to see in real life.

3. The image of the Manila skyline used here is the panorama that I took myself and uploaded to Wikipedia, used here in a derivative work and sold commercially, which would be fine if not for the fact that I remain unattributed. I give and I give...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Shoes

Hey everyone, check out my new shoes.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

10 Philippine-related Wikipedia articles that surprisingly don't exist

You would think-- five years after Wikipedia exploded into our consciousness as the online encyclopedia that has everything-- that by this point there would simply be no more articles to create. Incorrect!

Here are 10 potential articles that somehow slipped through the cracks.
  • Rizal Day. National holiday commemorating the anniversary of Jose Rizal's execution. Currently redirects to Jose Rizal.
  • Expanded Value Added Tax. The centerpiece of President Arroyo's economic reform agenda, both extremely controversial yet praised for averting potential financial disaster.
  • Quirino Grandstand. Site of presidential inaugurations, independence day parades, and a bunch of other epic events. Currently redirects to Rizal Park.
  • Divisoria. The market district in Manila renowned for its assortment of cheap stuff. Currently redirects to Manila.
  • Mr. Chips. Also Chippy, Piattos, Nips, Skyflakes, Cream-O, Dewberry, Cloud 9... The best we have is the long list of products at the Universal Robina article.
  • Jollibee Foods Corporation. The current article for Jollibee is a hybrid that interchangably talks about the fast food chain and the company that also owns Chowking, Greenwhich, and Red Ribbon.
  • Harry Stonehill. American businessman said to have most every Filipino politician in his pocket in the 1960s, whose name was synonymous with corruption. Read more.
  • San Miguel Beer. The beer making company has a 95% market share in the Philippines, yet there's no article on the beer itself. Currently redirects to San Miguel Brewery.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hello Makati

This sure is something, to be able to wake up in the morning and see my workplace from my bedroom window.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Proximity to Chowking

A map of the Philippines showing proximity to the nearest Chowking:

There are 376 Chowking restaurants in the Philippines-- that's 1 per 798 sq km, or 1 per 244,635 Filipinos. Nearly half of Chowkings are in Metro Manila: With 175 restaurants, that's 1 per 3.64 sq km, or 1 per 66,019 Filipinos in Metro Manila.

I originally was going to do a map for Jollibee or McDonald's, but they have way more branches. Maybe some other time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The new big C2 and economies of scale

At the grocery store a few days ago, rising off of the shelves like a torpedo, the new big bottle of C2 caught my eye.

I do not know if this is a new thing, or just new to me. This is 1.5 liters, the same size as a bottle of Pepsi or Coke. Before this the biggest bottle available was 1 liter, and that was only sporadically available.

It's about time we started getting our groceries in larger volumes to save on costs. I feel like such a chump when buying milk in those 1 L cartons, with the knowledge that America buys their milk by the gallon (3.78 L).

One of my favorite principles of economics, which people do not seem to take advantage of as much as they should, is economies of scale, the principle that per-unit cost decreases as output increases. In other words, it's cheaper on a per-unit basis to buy goods in bulk.

The 350 mL bottle of C2 costs P14.25, while 1.5 L bottle of C2 costs P32.25. That means that the 1.5 L bottle is about double the cost, but has more than four times the content.

Buying the 350 mL bottle is essentially paying double what you could be paying. So, yeah. Think about it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Yes, I watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

An astoundingly rich Beverly Hills woman leaves her impossibly spoiled pet chihuahua with her irresponsible niece, who then proceeds to lose the dog during a trip south of the border, sparking an epic journey across Mexico to reunite the pampered pooch with her life of luxury.

The DVD cover claims it is "the greatest chihuahua movie of all time".

That is probably true.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Top 10 3D Philippine sights in Google Earth

The 3D Buildings layer on my Google Earth has been neglected for too long. I recently turned it on for the first time in years, and found that a band of dedicated internet warriors has been modeling 3D buildings for Google Earth-- even buildings in the Philippines-- while I wasn't paying attention.

Here are the ten best 3D sights I found in the Philippines.

10. Talisay Ruins

Rising out of the sugarcane fields around Bacolod City, this old building was burned by retreating Filipinos to prevent its use by Japanese invaders in World War II, leaving behind some gorgeous ruins. Also check out the other 3D models around Bacolod City, including the PNB Building, Old Bacolod City Hall, Queen of Peace Church, New Bacolod Government Center, Provincial Capitol, and Bacolod-Silay International Airport.

9. Tribeca Private Residences
This impressive cluster of 15 buildings is found along the South Luzon Expressway in Muntinlupa City. What's so surprising about it is that it doesn't even exist in satellite view-- turn off the 3D Buildings layer, and all you'll see is an empty lot. The satellite imagery is dated March 2007, so I don't actually know how many of these buildings have been completed, if any, but the 3D models are there anyway to give us a glimpse of the future.

8. Mandaue-Mactan bridges
Two bridges connect the island of Mactan to Mandaue City-- The old unnamed Mactan-Mandaue Bridge (built 1970), and the newer Marcelo Fernan Bridge (built 1999). Both of them have 3D models in Google Earth. The newer bridge is the one that's better looking in real life, but the old bridge is pictured here because it's better looking in Google Earth.

7. Davao City
Davao City has a whole bunch of nice 3D buildings too, most of them (all of them?) done by one guy, appropriately named "thatDAVAOguy". The buildings are spread out across the city though, so you need to go hunting for them. In the foreground here, are Marco Polo hotel and Ateneo de Davao University. Other buildings in the city are SM City Davao, Royal Mandaya Hotel, Gaisano Mall, Fransisco Bangoy International Airport, Victoria Plaza, and a lot more.

6. Rizal Park
You'll need to zoom in close to see the 3D monuments and statues in Manila's Rizal Park. Pictured here is the Rizal Monument. Other 3D features in the park are the massive Philippine flag, the Gomburza execution site, the Pantheon of Heroes, and the Sentinel of Freedom (the enormous statue of Lapu-Lapu at the east side of the park).

5. EDSA Shrine / EDSA-Ortigas Flyover
In front of Robinson's Galleria in Ortigas, you'll find not just the EDSA Shrine rendered in 3D, but the entire flyover structure at the intersection of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue. Zoom in close enough and you can actually read the passage of scripture on the wall under the statue of the Virgin Mary.

4. University of Santo Tomas
One guy seems to have channeled his school spirit into rendering almost all of the buildings of Manila's University of Santo Tomas in 3D. Among the finished models are the Arch of the Centuries, Main Building, UST Library, Health Service Buildings, Benavides Building, Gymnasium, College of Architecture, Albertus Magnus Building, and Roque Ruano Building.

3. Cebu Business Park
Cebu Business Park in Cebu City has, undoubtedly, the best skyline in the Philippines outside of Metro Manila. 3D skyscrapers in this area include the Keppel Center, Innove Tower, Marriott Hotel, Pioneer House, Park Tower One, Park Tower Two, and Ayala Life FGU. Also check out the other nice rendered buildings in the city, including Magellan's Cross, SM City Cebu, Malacanan sa Sugbo, and others.

2. Ayala Avenue
Makati City has, far and away, the country's best skyline. There aren't enough 3D buildings there in Google Earth to really show that dominance, but it's still very worth checking out. Skyscrapers include PBCom Tower (the country's tallest), GT International Tower, LKG Tower, Ayala Triangle Tower One, and Makati Shangri-La Hotel. There's also the Peninsula Manila, and Hotel Intercontinental.

1. University of the Philippines - Diliman
Up north in Quezon City is the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines, with Quezon Hall, the Oblation, Amphitheater, Gonzalez Hall, Sunken Garden, University Grandstand, Carillion Tower, and a whole bunch of other buildings I don't know the names of, enough buildings to slow my computer to shit when I try zooming in close. Nice work, man. Nice work.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Words of horrible wisdom

This awful, inexplicable gem is found in Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport, inside the toilet stall of the men's restroom. Something to look at and ponder while taking a crap:

Don't complain about life, many die young.

Maybe it's just me, but the absolute last thing I want to be thinking of while waiting for my plane trip out of Manila is the possibility of dying young.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Jojo Binay Story

So like I was saying, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay visited Valencia last Saturday to meet local political leaders-- and no doubt earn some exposure and support for his presidential campaign. Since then he seems to have been hit by reality and decided to slide down to running for Vice President. We'll see.

At that meeting he gave out a ton of copies of his 34-page campaign comic book: The Jojo Binay Story. Hopefully not paid for by the City of Makati, though it has the city seal on the cover.

Call it contrived, gimmicky... but there's a campiness here that perhaps only I am appreciative of. An ostentation so extreme as to have perversely sophisticated appeal.

Some scans:
Page 6-7

Page 12-13

Lalaban tayo!

After the meeting I went around the tables collecting comics that other people didn't bother to take with them. If I wasn't such a wuss I would have gone up to Binay himself and asked him to sign some copies, probably increasing it's value tenfold. Oh well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Milo Marathon in Dumaguete

I like running. There's something poetic in the simplicity of it, trying to get from point A to point B in as little time as possible, with nothing to aid you but the strength of your legs and the endurance of your lungs. Kind of like how nerds can appreciate mathematics for the way it expresses pure truth.

This morning I joined the 5K race of the Milo Marathon in Dumaguete, finishing in around 30 minutes. My time would have been better if it weren't for the weird abdominal pain that showed up halfway through, forcing me to walk for a while-- not enough time to digest breakfast, methinks. I probably did better last time, in 2006.

Route: City Hall - Sta. Catalina St. - San Juan St. - Hibbard Ave. (through Silliman) - E.J. Blanco Dr. - Sidlakang Negros (and back)


Start of 5K. Last year, 2234 people finished the 5K in Dumaguete within the curfew time.

Me (left), looking very drained, with other dudes after the race, showing off our certificates of completion.

My time was 31:07, rank 408. In 2006 my time was 28:12, rank 377.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mayor Binay visits Valencia

Makati City Major Jejomar Binay came by last Wednesday to meet with local political leaders in Negros Oriental, for a campaign stop very thinly veiled (I think) as an educational tour.

Binay was one of the earliest to unequivocally declare his candidacy for president, way back in November last year, but not once during the meeting did he say exactly what office he would be running for-- the closest he got was to mention that he was interested in a national position in the executive branch. A hint he would be willing to go for VP? Hmm.

The introductory PowerPoint presentation and video were more impressive than Binay himself. Undoubtedly he knows what he is talking about, but I'm not surprised his campaign hasn't blossomed. For a person with ambitions set on becoming president, he doesn't have the prerequisite vigor and stage presence. Maybe this could be attributed to recent events: Just the previous evening, Mar Roxas dropped out of the race to support Noynoy Aquino, pushing Binay even further from serious contention. In recent polls he trails Villar, Estrada, Escudero, Roxas, De Castro, and even Legarda.

He gave out gift-wrapped copies of his books, signed a few calling cards, and left behind a whole bunch of "The Jojo Binay Story" 34-page comic books-- that last one is cool enough that I'll show it off in a different post.

Before he left there were some brief photo ops, and on his way out I got the chance to shake his hand. There's no chance that he would earn my vote-- his divisive, combative rhetoric is the opposite of what the Philippines needs, and I have a hard time mustering respect for anyone who supports Erap as much as he. But at the very least he seems to be at least a competent administrator.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mar Roxas' subliminal campaign

Maybe this will work better than those TV ads.

Sly dog...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why Noynoy?

I can't be the only one disturbed by the sudden increased perception of Noynoy Aquino as a potential presidential candidate.

There's an image on today's front page of volunteers soliciting signatures for a petition endorsing Noynoy for president. The workers are wearing a yellow shirt with the tagline "the legend lives on", and the stylized signature image of his father.

It's one thing to have a romantic notion of the son following in his famous father's footsteps, but Noynoy Aquino has nothing else going for him.

Let me be clear, I have nothing against Noynoy. But the fact is that he has done nothing to deserve his current position of prominence, or even his current seat in the Senate. He has no greater qualification than that his mother was once President of the Philippines, and nothing to offer the country aside from a perceived inflated sense of moral righteousness. No outstanding leadership, initiative, or vision.

It remains to be seen whether the media's fixation on Noynoy corresponds with an actual wave of grassroots support, but the idea of it is disappointing. The Philippines needs more than just another poetic twist in its unending soap opera.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Valkyrie is a movie about a bunch of good Germans who plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II. If you are spoiled by my giving away the ending-- that they are unsuccessful-- then you probably aren't the type that would be interested in a historical thriller in the first place. It ends with a montage of all the protagonists being executed, or executing themselves.

The movie itself is well-made enough, but here's a different question: Who wants to watch a bunch of people fail to kill Hitler?

I hear the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglourious Basterds, is about a bunch of people who plot to kill Hitler and actually succeed. I find the whole concept of it absolutely delicious. Now that's the kind of thing I'm interested to see.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Full Metal Jacket

I've seen four Stanley Kubrick movies before. The only one I can say I liked was Dr. Strangelove. The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey were way to bizarre for me (especially the latter). And Eyes Wide Shut was just bad bad bad. But in spite of his mixed record I continue to give him a chance, holding out hope that I could still be pleasantly surprised and finally realize what everyone else sees in him. And even if I don't, at the very least I'll know what other people are talking about.

So, Full Metal Jacket. Very awesome first half, very average second half.

The first half deals with a bunch of US marine recruits undergoing their training under drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, who surely became the archetype for all sonofabitch drill instructors hence. This hour is quiet, haunting, captivating, and feels like a great movie. Years from now, this half is probably all I'll remember.

The second half has those marines serving in the Vietnam War, experiencing all sorts of horrors and adventures. This part feels like a different movie, and it stumbles from a lack of focus. It's a collection of scenes which, taken individually, seem right at home in a great movie. But collectively they go in all different directions with little coherence, little connection to the first half, and the climax brings up a new theme that comes out of nowhere.

I look forward to the movie that awakens me to the essence of why Stanley Kubrick is held in such high regard. The first half of Full Metal Jacket probably came closest to that goal, but a forgettable and uneven second half tarnishes its record. There may or may not be a movie out there that gets me to put Kubrick up on my mental pedestal, but this does not quite seem to be it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun with Photoshop and Bananas

This is what I was doing last night until 3AM:

Special thanks goes out to the pen tool, the cutout filter, and Google image search!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cory Aquino, 1933-2009

"The only thing I can really offer the Filipino people is my sincerity," Cory Aquino said early in her campaign against Ferdinand Marcos.

Indeed, no one questioned her sincerity. Indeed, her presidency offered little else. But she offered the right message for the right time, resuscitated the Filipino sense of identity and pride, and momentarily weaved history into some sort of fairy tale.

The rule of decorum in such matters is to speak only good of the dead. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of making it sound like she was a perfect president. She didn't put an end to corruption, or poverty, or instability, or hopelessness. Her record of success was mixed, at best. But I don't think it diminishes her legacy to say that-- far more than her accomplishments in six years as president-- she's a greater gift to our country as a symbol of restored democracy, and the best we can do is to keep that memory burning.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

See my comments on Order of the Phoenix from two years ago. My criticism there applies even harder on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Generally faithful adaptation but extremely disjointed. Too many unessential scenes adapted from the book as fan service, yet nearly incomprehensible as a stand-alone movie. Case in point: In the end, Snape reveals he's the "Half-Blood Prince"-- with no explanation that his father is a Muggle and his mother's last name was Prince. The only way this revelation would have meaning is if you read the book.

It had its moments, but I think I liked this Potter film the least.

My current ranking of movies is as follows:
  • Goblet of Fire
  • Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Chamber of Secrets
  • Sorcerer's Stone
  • Order of the Phoenix
  • Half-Blood Prince
A disclaimer: My experience with the movie is probably affected by the fact that the state of Dumaguete's current movie theaters is completely unacceptable. Three power outages occurred during my viewing, including one during the climactic confrontation of Draco and Dumbledore. All together I spent 15-20 minutes sitting in darkness and waiting stupidly for the movie to continue. Add that to blurry visuals, muffled sound, poor air-conditioning, and a guy in the back sobbing loudly in an argument with his girlfriend... Even if the movie was brilliant, I would hardly notice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stepping down

It seems The Inquirer and the Philippine Star were listening to different SONAs yesterday, based on their headlines:
In the SONA that I listened to, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reiterated that were will be elections in 2010, that they will be automated, that her term will come to an end next year, and that she has never given any reason to believe that she would extend her term.

Demanding that the president explicitly state that she will step down next year is kind of like demanding that NASA refute allegations that they faked the Moon landings. Responding to these fools only dignifies their unfounded accusations. Filipinos need to start realizing that their constitution is bigger than just one person.

People have been pointing to Fidel Ramos' last SONA as an example of an explicit statement that he would be stepping down from power:
“I will be working and governing — you will all feel and hear and see me working and governing as your president — until I turn over the presidency to the 13th president of the republic at high noon on 30 June 1998.”
But did this work to silence his critics? If I recall, late-1997 saw a flurry of massive demonstrations protesting the silly allegation that Ramos would run for re-election, despite Ramos' repeated statements that he was stepping down. Excerpts:
The Philippines' most influential clergyman said today that President Fidel V. Ramos was so desperate to hang on to power that he was threatening to drag the country back to its dark days under Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Thursday, August 21, 1997
The Philippines' senior clergyman today told churches to ring their bells and drivers to blow their horns every evening for the next two weeks to protest ''immoral'' attempts by President Fidel Ramos to hang on to power.
Friday, September 5, 1997
Expect history to repeat itself later this year. So why do so many critics and cynics delude themselves into thinking President Arroyo plans to stay in power perpetually? The answer is simple: They're either intellectually dishonest or downright dense, and the real injustice here is that no one will put the spotlight on them when they are eventually proven, as usual, wrong.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cancerous cynicism, dishonesty, and lack of accountability

A few days ago former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz made headlines with some nonsense warning about President Arroyo perpetuating herself in power or whatever. Honestly I can't recall exactly what it was he was warning about this time, but I wouldn't heed it any attention, and neither should you.

You've probably forgotten, but the opposition in this country-- to any administration-- has this bad habit of disregarding reality. They seem to have a particular fetish for predicting martial law, our country's ultimate boogeyman:
And that's just from a few minutes of searching the online archives. Online newspaper archives older than that are hard to come by, but there are articles on more martial law whiners from 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, and even as far back as 1997. Of course, every single one of them was downright wrong.

And it's not just martial law-- in recent years there's been a bizarre pattern of behavior among the opposition to predict the apocalypse at every turn, and they've been wrong every time. Wrong about the E-VAT, wrong about the Human Security Act, wrong about US relations, wrong about the economy, wrong about elections not pushing through. Tip of the iceberg.

Time for a reality check. It's mind boggling how these folks could be so wrong, so often, so consistently, and still maintain any respect at all among the public. Their pompousness, cancerous cynicism, dishonesty, and lack of accountability is more than just an annoyance. It's damaging this country.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dumaguete's Boulevard

Last Wednesday morning I took a few pictures of Dumaguete's Rizal Boulevard, the best place in this odd city. It's clean, classy, and seems to be getting better all the time.

The walkway was paved with bricks in 2007. The stone pavement on the seawall barrier was added in 2008. Mid-morning is when the promenade is best illuminated by the sun. Unfortunately that's also when it's most deserted thanks to the heat.

This is what it says on a marker at the north end of the Boulevard:
"Rizal Boulevard was built in 1916 and extends 780 meters long. It was named after Jose Rizal who was said to while away a few hours on this stretch of beach long before the Boulevard was constructed. The Rizal Boulevard is considered the show window of Dumaguete."

A wide stretch of grass and acacia trees divides the promenade from the road. If I recall, they used to sometimes build a stage on the grass to hold a free concert with hundreds of people squeezed into the area. They probably don't do that anymore now that the grass is growing so nicely.

It's called Dumaguete's show window because that's where the best stuff is.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Keyboard activity statistics

Here's some mouse and keyboard usage statistics from my laptop, gathered using a program called WhatPulse. The program was installed on October 28, 2008, so these statistics track the past 8 months and 26 days.
  • Total mouse clicks: 495,138
  • Mouse movement: 56.27 km
  • Total keystrokes: 2,347,495
  • Most used key: Tab (246,242)
  • Most used letter: E (98,690)
  • Most used number: 0 (5,009)
  • Most used function key: F2 (1,370)
  • Most used arrow key: Down (88,891)
  • Least used letter: Q (1,176)
  • Least used number: 7 (574)
  • Least used function key: F12 (0)
  • Least used arrow key: Up (59,672)
The Tab key has gotten a lot of activity since I use it to navigate forms, switch between windows, and switch between tabs.

I'm most amazed by my neglect of the F12 key, which hasn't been pressed a single time in nearly 9 months. Poor guy. :(

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Inquirer: Up means down?

Yesterday the SWS posted their quarterly survey results on the president's satisfaction ratings. In 2Q 2009 she had a net satisfaction of -31, which rates as a "bad" in their scale, but it is a slight rise from the -32 registered in the previous quarter. So it's truly puzzling why, the following day, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ran a front page story with the following title:

Dropping? Sure, a one point rise in net satisfaction is statistically negligible, but by no measure is it considered to be dropping. If you were to compare it on a year-on-year basis, it's still an improvement from the -38 in 2Q 2008. So what's up with that title?

Turns out the first six paragraphs of the actual article were dedicated solely to reporting the results from Luzon, where satisfaction did drop. What about the improved satisfaction ratings in the Visayas and Mindanao? Mentioned briefly at the end of paragraph seven-- and off of the front page.

Hey Inquirer, how about tomorrow you run a story titled "Philippine shares still dropping". I mean, the stock market did actually rise 1.5%, but there were still a couple of stocks in there that lost value, so the title is still okay by your logic, eh?

How do you get away with such irresponsible and routine deception? Where's the outrage?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Asiatown IT Park construction update

In February last year I posted about the construction projects going on in Cebu's Asiatown IT Park. Here's an update with some new pics of what the buildings look like now, 16 months later.

TG Tower:

This 15-floor behemoth looks monstrous from the road leading up to IT Park.


Construction on eBloc started really fast, but completion kept getting delayed for some reason (it was supposed to be done in November). The finished product is really nice though, looks exactly like the rendering from my first post. NCR finally moved into this glorious building last May.


There was some confusion for a while as to whether this would be called i2 annex or i3. Turns out it's i3, which is kind of awkward since it's in the middle of i1 and i2.

Skyrise 2:

Looks more like a high rise pension house than an office building. Not the most attractive building, but whatever, it seems to fit nicely beside Skyrise 1.

The Walk:

Construction on this was pretty much done at the time of my first post, but it took a few months before The Walk finally opened. It has some funky blocky paintwork on the circular section where Pier One is. And thankfully it wasn't named something horrendous like "IT Mall".

Skyrise 3:

Construction on Skyrise 3 started in the middle of last year, so I don't have any picture of it under construction. Last I checked, construction seems to be just finishing up. The picture here is actually a view of the back.