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.