Wednesday, December 22, 2010

KFC Double Down

I like to compare KFC's Double Down to skydiving. It's a radical and dangerous idea, and I keep telling myself that somehow I am going to try it at least for once in my life. But then, when faced with the actual decision, I can't bring myself to take the plunge.

Until one day, I did.


For the uninitiated: This meaty monster is not a sandwich. This is two layers of greasy chicken fillet surrounding a slice of cheese, a few strips of bacon, and mayonnaise. It is certainly sandwichesque, but it is even more certainly not a sandwich.

I wanted to surround the thing with a loaf of bread. It was not as good as I hoped, and not as bad as it sounds. An interesting experience but not one I plan to try again any time soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Week 6: Quezon City International Marathon

I started my binge of running in late October by challenging myself to run a 5K every week for five weeks (or as long as I could keep it up, really). Five kilometers is a good distance, short enough for anyone to finish but long enough to demand a great deal of endurance if you are going to put effort into it. Five weeks is long enough to build up a comfortable routine, but once you gets too comfortable it's only natural to push yourself further.

Set on December 5 was the Quezon City International Marathon, featuring a 5K race, a 10K race, a 21K half marathon, and a full 42K marathon. With the promise of a huge event (the word "International" entices me) and long running distances, it seemed time to finally step up my game, up to a target I had long looked up to but never before considered within reach. 10K.

I had once thought 10K as an impossible distance. Sounds silly saying that in the context of a race with a full 42K marathon, but it is true. Running 5K leaves me mentally exhilarated but physically exhausted. Going for twice that long would be-- twice as much.

(For reference, 10 kilometers is the distance from the SM Mall of Asia to SM Megamall visa EDSA. But please don't run on EDSA.)

Quezon City International Marathon
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City

Distance: 10K / Time: 1:00:37 / Rank 325 of 1314

Now, despite the word "International" in the title, it seemed that so much about the event was amateurishly organized. I shall elaborate in bullet point form:
  • The poster said registration would end on November 7, yet registration was going on far beyond that date. This isn't much of a complaint, since even I registered late, but why bother setting a deadline if they won't stick to it, right? I'm sure many missed the event because they thought the registration period had passed, and the extension wasn't clearly communicated.
  • The singlet design posted on the internet was colored green, yet somehow the final thing itself turned out a bright neon yellow. They posted a sort of apology on their Facebook page but no real explanation, except to say that's the way it turned out when they got it from the printers.
  • Registration included the unusual and unnecessary step of claiming the singlet and race kit from UP on the weekend of Nov. 27-28. Why couldn't they just give it out along with the actual registration itself? Or why not have registration itself at UP that weekend? Seems like they're imposing a logistical burden on both organizers and participants.
  • Race kits were supposed to be distributed at the Bahay ng Alumni in UP, and I had to ask around since no directions were given, and the UP campus isn't particularly visitor friendly. When I got there I found only a sign saying that the venue had been moved, and it gave some vague directions on how to get there. Turns out it was at a remote and dusty gym at the furthest corner of the campus.
  • I get to the race kit distribution place, show my claim stub, and-- surprise! My name is not on the list. Seems I wasn't the only person with this problem, because they had an ad hoc workaround in place and did a quasi-registration on the spot.
  • I suspect that the workaround registration is the reason why the race results show me as an ageless, sexless, "Unknown finisher". Overall, 677 out of the 3515 finishers in the 5K/10K race results are listed as "Unknown finisher", identified only by bib number. That's nearly 20%.
  • The baggage counter had me a bit worried. They had such a small storage space considering the amount of runners, and bags were overflowing out of their area. When I came to claim my bag after the race, I was able to just pick it up myself without any assistance. I could easily have stolen someone else's bag.
  • This doesn't affect me, but there are many reports that the 21K race distance was actually more than 23 km. How they can make such a large mistake in distance is beyond me. Several people brought this up via the Facebook page, with responses saying that would look into it, yet nothing was done.
  • The cutoff time for the full marathon was supposed to be 7 hours, but they removed the timing sensors an hour early. If I ran for 42 km and this happened to me I would be barking mad. Absolutely barking.
Ok I think that's all I have in terms of organizational complaints. Whew.

Sweaty masses of humanity at the finish.

The starting point of the run was where Commonwealth Avenue meets the Quezon City Circle. They closed the entire northbound half of Commonwealth Ave. for the event, and I can just imagine the furor from motorists. I've seen the event advertising that runners would be passing Quezon City's most glorious landmarks, but really for the 5K/10K runs there is nothing to see along Commonwealth Ave.

Hydration was plentiful, with tables of water and Powerade at good intervals. I may have helped myself to a little too much water since my stomach began to protest in the last few kilometers and about half the time was spent walking. People were passing me but I comforted myself in the thought that no matter how slowly I go it would still be a personal best.

Post-run ceremonies at the Quezon City Circle.

I finished in the very respectable time of 1:00:37, and ranked 325 out of 1314. Not bad for my first 10K, eh? Of course I would have preferred to be 37 seconds faster and finish within the 1 hour mark, but I'm quite pleased considering I thought my time would be more like 1:20:00. Plus, I'm still in the top half in the rankings. Maybe I could be pushing myself still harder in terms of distance. 21K? Who knows. Someday.

Then I came home, took a shower, had breakfast, and slept for 10 hours straight. Not even exaggerating.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 5: Resorts World Grand Fiesta Run

My week prior to the Resorts World Grand Fiesta Run on November 28 was full of distractions and conditions that were a completely unideal preparation for running. Because I had visitors in Manila, I was only able to run for a total of 10 km during the whole week as preparation. I was eating way more than usual. I spent entire days getting my legs and feet sore by walking around the malls. And the night before the run I had a mini-reunion with high school friends.

One bright note though was that these visitors would be going to the airport on early Sunday morning, which was just perfect since I could be dropped off right at the race venue across from NAIA Terminal 3, at Resorts World Manila.

Resorts World Manila Grand Fiesta Run
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Resorts World Manila

Distance: 5K / Time: 28:10 / Rank 29 of 266

The run's route was around Resorts World and Andrews Avenue in front of Terminal 3, a new and untested route for fun runs. This probably added to it's appeal and explains why it managed to be decently attended despite heavy competition-- the Runrio-sponsored Run BGC and the McDonald's-sponsored McHappy Day Fun Run were scheduled the same morning, among others.

The downside of this venue is that Andrews Avenue is a heavily used road that can't be blocked off from traffic too much since people are going to the airport. When going southeast on this part of the route only the two inner lanes were for the runners, so it's a choice between being close to the heavy pollution coming from the traffic in the opposite lane, or getting too close to the speedy cars on the other side.

I didn't even come close to finishing the whole 5K without walking, but was still surprised that I got a decent sub-30 minute time. Even more pleasing was my rank of 29 out of 266, nearly in the top 10%.

Running with NAIA Terminal 3 in the background.

Superman emerges in the 1K "Rat Race"

An interesting gimmick to this event was a 1K "Rat Race" where participants were encouraged to come in business attire. Personally I thought this would be a waste of time that no one would join, but there were just enough people to keep it interesting and successful. Most photogenic was a guy (a minor celebrity, I think) who ran in a full suit, then revealed in the final stretch that he had a Superman costume underneath.

Finishing off the event was a generous raffle. Lots of prizes were given out, which got people excited since the number of participants was not that big. The two grand prizes were vacations to Resorts World in Singapore, along with tickets to Universal Studios.

People stuck around to the every end, hoping to get lucky. Then it came time for the final grand prize. "The last digit of our grand prize winner is... a seven!". Disappointed moans erupted from the crowd, with a few scattered cheers. I didn't even bother sticking around to hear the rest of it-- I just picked up my bag and left.
As I walked away from the event I happened to be walking beside another dude, and our eyes met, and we laughed out loud at the unspoken but shared understanding of our lack of fortune. Hah. What can you do.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 4: Animo Run

I was faced with two options for the morning of November 21:
  • Big Blue Katipunan Run at the Ateneo campus, sponsored by Ateneo
  • Animo Run at the SM Mall of Asia, sponsored by La Salle
Seemed kind of funny and not at all coincidental that fun runs by Ateneo and La Salle would be set on the same day at the same time on opposite ends of Metro Manila. The choice for me was easy enough though-- the Mall of Asia is relatively closer to where I live, and also I was a bit wary of the loose organization and low turnout of the Ateneo-organized run two weeks earlier.

Also, the Animo Run's singlet design as posted on the internet was better and free of sponsor logos. The actual thing was full of sponsor logos though. Oh well.


Animo Run
Sunday, November 21, 2010
SM Mall of Asia

Distance: 5K / Time: 25:24 / Rank 110 of 1384

The crowd was bigger than I expected. I think the host announced that there were something like 5000 registrants-- there are no results for the 3K though so I can't be sure. Apparently, joining the run was required for some PE class.

Even though I'm the opposite of a Lasallian alumnus, I loved the fact that the cheering squad's drums were booming to greet runners as they came into the final stretch. It was the first time I finally achieved the goal I set for myself of running an entire 5 kilometers without taking breaks to walk, and the drums kept me motivated to keep going despite a dull pain in my side started to creep up in the final kilometer or so.

Despite being able to finish the whole thing without walking, my time and ranking were not as good as my 5K personal record set in the run the week before. It's just a minor letdown, since I really think that week's run was actually shorter than this was.

La Salle's drums

Runners in front of the IMAX theater

The real thing to be disappointed about was the "loot bag" given to finishers. Despite the promises of generous freebies from sponsors, the loot bag actually given out had hardly more than coupons and a thin magazine. They could have put it in an envelope. I threw it in the trash before I left. I wouldn't have minded if there was no loot bag at all actually, but they shouldn't set expectations if they'll just let people down.

In spite of that I walked away from the even a happy dude. Just ran five kilometers straight, felt like I could have gone on for five more, and nuthin' could stop me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 3: Race for Life

My third straight weekend of 5Ks was for the "Race for Life", a fun run for some charity that I am unaware of. Apparently it's a pretty popular charity, because it attracted a crowd of thousands of participants-- surprising, given the relatively steep registration fee. All in all there was a total of 2694 people across all categories who finished the run (that's over 10 times the number of people in the Ateneo run the week before).

Race for Life 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Bonifacio Global City

Distance: 5K / Time: 25:03 / Rank 43 of 1259

This one was held on the shiny new streets of Bonifacio Global City. For a pleasant change, the route was just one big loop with almost no backtracking. Unfortunately though, the distance based on my most generous calculations in Google Earth was just 4.8 km. Actually I suspect it was even shorter.

I'm not so familiar with the streets of BGC and didn't bother to study the race route, so during the run itself I had no idea how far along I was, and it came as a surprise afterwards when I found that I nearly finished the whole thing without walking. With a time of 25:03 I was somehow ranked 43 out of 1259 finishers in the 5K-- a ranking that remains my best ever in percentile terms.

In fact it seems fishy to me, and I had to double check the results just now to be sure. Maybe there were a lot of women and old people.

Final bend before the finish.

Epic line for goodies from sponsors.

After the run there was an area set up with the sponsor booths in a row, forming a sort of assembly line where finishers collect freebies for the generous loot bag. There were drinks, candy, sardines, soaps, shampoos, a pen, alcohol, vitamins, a raffle entry... I think there was even a bank offering loans or something. Almost enough to make the 30 minute wait in line worth it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 2: Ateneo Law Blue Race

The process of registering for this run should have raised a few red flags for me. It required going to either the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell or the Ateneo Lex office in the Loyola Heights campus. Rockwell was closer for me so I went there.

So, I get to the Rockwell campus in the morning and find the Ateneo Human Rights Center, which is where the registration should be, but I find just a single lady at her desk who could only tell me to wait for the students to be around, which would be at some undetermined time in the future. I then spend the next hour or two exploring the building, poking my head curiously into places I don't belong, and eventually wasting away the time on the internet-- until finally someone comes long and facilitates the registration.

Ateneo Law Blue Race
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Ateneo de Manila University

Distance: 5K / Time: 31:23 / Rank 28 of 104
A few days before the run I get a text message from the organizers saying that they had somehow lost the list of names associated with the numbers, and asked me to give my info. I replied as they ordered, and wished them a heartfelt best of luck. Losing the list of participant names is a big deal.

What pleased me most about this race was that the race route is pretty much just two loops of my usual jogging route when I was a dormer in Ateneo (though I would go all the way to the end of the high school road, to the Moro Lorenzo Sports Complex). It also gives me a chance to see what's changed in the past year since I've been there-- Ateneo never runs out of new things to construct. Also, being held in the Ateneo campus on an early Sunday morning meant that I wouldn't have the satisfaction of having traffic stopped for my sake.

The small pre-race crowd.

Tree-lined road in the Ateneo campus.

The distances for the race were 3K, 5K, and 7.5K. I have no idea why they would truncate it to a strange non-standard distance of 7.5K when they easily could have drawn a 10K distance with another loop or two within the campus.

One website said that they were expecting a maximum of 1000 runners, as though they were dampening expectations in case they ran out of singlets or whatever. The reality was that only 256 people actually participated, in all race categories. This was perhaps because of the inconvenient registration place, or maybe a lack of promotion, but I imagine the organizers would be disappointed with the turnout too.

The actual race results were not posted until 2.5 weeks later, and that only came after I personally emailed several organizers. They explained that their database was screwy since many registered on the race day itself. I'm a gracious participant and I say thanks, but another person blasted the organizers for the problems. When they finally posted the results on the Facebook page (with only bib numbers, not actual names) it came with an apology, and an appeal for understanding since the organizers were all full-time law students.

I hate to admit it but all that really says is that one can't expect competence from full-time Ateneo students of law.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 1: Adobo Run After Dark

Faced with several weekends with nothing on my calendar, I embarked on an ambitious project: Five consecutive weekends of 5K fun runs, each in a different location.
The rationale:
  • I like to run
  • I need to exercise
  • I want to do something I can brag about
I've joined a couple of other fun runs in the past (five to be exact; and yes I keep count) so I'm familiar enough with the mechanics. I'd be happy enough if I could just beat my own personal record-- 28:12 at the 2006 Milo Marathon in Dumaguete-- and maybe finally manage to run a whole 5K without resorting to walking.
The first event on my itinerary was one I saw advertised at Inquirer.net: The Adobo Run After Dark.

Adobo Run After Dark
Saturday, October 30, 2010
McKinley Hill

Distance: 5K / Time: 33:20 / Rank 71 of 477
This one brought me to McKinley Hill, a route known for its steep roads, as well as for the fact that no one knows how to commute there. I've done this route before but that doesn't make the climb any less backbreaking.
The event was unusual in two notable ways: First, as you can tell from the name, it was held on a Saturday night instead of the usual early morning. Second, it was the night before Halloween, so participants were encouraged to come in costume. Just enough people came in costume to make their gimmick a success, I think. Tragically I forgot to bring my camera, but you can see the pictures at takbo.ph. I was running alongside swimsuit guy for a while-- watching bystander reactions to that was a lot of fun.
This was organized by Adobo Magazine, which is apparently some kind of advertising company I have never heard of. After the race there was a loot bag with a free Adobo Magazine, refrigerator magnet, and some other stuff I can't remember at the moment. The tragedy here was that they only prepared 1000 loot bags even though there were far more participants than that, and each participant had a loot bag claim stub. Naturally the 10K runners, who ran farthest and arrived last, are the ones that end up getting nothing.
There was a loud after-party which I didn't really stick around for. It had live bands and supposedly unlimited beer which they jokingly (I hope) said would be thirst quenchers for the runners. I like beer as much as the next guy, but pumping alcohol into exhausted people in need of hydration sounds like the worst idea ever.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sandwich

Check out the sandwich that I am eating this very moment:


The menu called it a Smoked Chicken Roast with Canadian Black Bacon. P128 at Earle's Delicatessen in Makati.

Smoked chicken roast, Canadian black bacon,
romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers,
white onions, honey mustard and cheese,
on French bread.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Music at McDonalds

So, I was at McDonalds at 7:15 AM today to get some breakfast. There was a guy sitting alone a table, probably in his 40s at least, having pancakes and reading his free newspaper.
He calls over to a guy behind the counter, gives a knowing look and points indistinctly towards the ceiling.
The employee behind the counter returns a puzzled expression. What?
"Music!", the guy says.
Employee's face is like, Really? He turns to a manager-looking person behind him and says something. Guy over there wants music. It's kind of early in the morning, McDonalds probably doesn't normally have their music at this time of the day. But how would I know, who notices that sort of stuff anyway.
Then they turn on the music.
I have no point to this story. Just thought it was weird.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Before and After: NLEX-C5 Interchange

Here's another stunning before-and-after find in Google Earth. This is located somewhere in northern Metro Manila, at the under construction interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and C5 road.


Check it out in Google Maps. The map layer overlay still shows where the old roads used to be.

It's practically a whole village wiped out. The history of satellite imagery shows that a lot of the houses here have been existing since at least 2001. This must be one of those things I hear on the news about people causing a riot over their homes being demolished. Hard to blame them.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dumaguete in 2005 and 2010

Dumaguete City's satellite imagery has finally been given an update in Google Maps and Earth, jumping from February 2005 to June 2010. Here's a collection of the more significant changes I noticed, just as I did for Cebu a few months ago.

Dumaguete Business Park
The huge chunk of barren land practically adjacent to downtown and formerly owned by Julio Sy, now transformed into Robinsons Place Dumaguete and the Teletech call center office-- the beginnings of Dumaguete Business Park, hopefully launching the city into a glorious future.

Port
There's a land reclamation project going on at the port area, which I actually haven't been much aware of, but it has added a large bit of area to the seaport. Also, there's a new passenger terminal.

Convention Center and Oval
Previously a dusty old track oval known as the Perdices Coliseum. Now features a nice rubberized track with the Negros Oriental Hotel and Convention Center surrounding it.

Airport
The airport runway has been widened by around 10 meters and equipped with lights for night landings. There also seems to be little hangar for small aircraft now.

Diversion Road
The diversion road (or circumferencial road) is a project that's been talked about forever. Supposed to connect Sibulan to Bacong without passing through the congestion of Dumaguete, it finally seems to have gotten off the ground a little bit. A roughly 900 meter stretch of road has been cleared so far, with a width of 20 meters.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Noynoy in the Hot Seat

There's some kind of poetic symmetry to be pointed out here, with President Noynoy Aquino lamenting the people that have nothing better to do that criticize the government blindly:

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – President Aquino called for unity here on Thursday, saying it was important to the country’s development. [...]
But the President lamented that instead of helping the government in solving the country’s problems, some quarters were making an issue about just anything.
"May mga tao lang po talaga na ayaw yata ng kaunlaran at lahat ng ginagawa natin ay pinupuna (There are people who do not seem to want progress, they criticize our every move)," he said.
To be fair, he's absolutely right. As I've said time and time again, the culture of cynicism in this country too often goes far beyond mere patriotic opposition-- it's damaging to the country's long term growth.
Problem is that Aquino's campaign for president was centered around positioning himself as the epitome of the type of person he is now criticizing. Despite the attempts to portray himself as the new Obama, he didn't reach the top by being a uniter. He did it by driving a wedge into the country's divisions, and claiming the biggest piece as his own.
And now, to expect anything different from his own critics? Well. Good luck with that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time to Mourn

I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby proclaim August 25, 2010 as a day of national mourning, in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong and the bereaved families of the slain.
A time to mourn, ok, great. But my complaint here is why do we declare a national day of mourning and lower all our flags now, when 8 Hong Kong people die, but do nothing for all the other times a bunch of Filipinos die?
  • 5 soldiers killed by rebels in Agusan del Sur the same day (link)
  • 9 police officers killed by the NPA in Samar on Monday (link)
  • 39 passengers killed in a Benguet bus crash last week (link)
Their deaths may not have been broadcast on live TV in prime time, but that doesn't diminish the significance of the loss of life.

Are they any less deserving of our sympathy? Or are Filipino lives simply not worth as much to the government of the Philippines?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bus Drama


Now, about this Rolando Mendoza guy.

Show him no mercy, make no attempt to romanticize his story, do not paint him as a martyr. No one who hijacks a busload of innocent people and sprays them with bullets deserves a good word in their eulogy. He's an embarassment to the Filipino people, and the whole human race for that matter. I was so pleased to hear that his journey ended with a sniper's bullet straight through the head.

Make no mistake, this story's ending was tragic, and the reports in the coming days will shed light on what really happened that day and what should have been done better. But personally I'd prefer we don't belittle the heroism and courage of the men who risked their lives to save 17 of the 25 passengers on that bus.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ants Carrying Meat

A bunch of ants carrying a chunk of meat from lasagna:


They carried it to the edge of the table, then they all fell off.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pancakes

Today's project: Pillsbury Creamy Vanilla Hotcakes.


My first pancake failed, and it's not included in this pile. It stayed a pale yellow without turning golden brown, and it crumbled when i tried to flip it over. I think the pan wasn't hot enough yet, or something.

Everything else turned out decent enough, despite a miscalculation that resulted in me using twice as much oil as the instructions said.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Content-Aware Magic

Ok, so the new "content-aware fill" feature of the new Adobe Photoshop CS5 is pretty much the most amazing thing ever. You may have seen it in this video, a preview of the most amazing thing ever.

All of the following were made by drawing a crude selection in Photoshop and pressing the delete key. Click for much larger images.







After seeing the edited picture, the original looks fake.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mediterranean Eggs

Today's project: Mediterranean Eggs.


Based on this Betty Crocker recipe.

I could not be more pleased with how it turned out, it looks just like the picture in the cookbook.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Philippine Senate Batch of 2004, Where Are They Now?

A look back at what happened to the Philippine Senators elected in 2004, whose terms end on June 30, 2010:


Reelected to the Senate this year are Juan Ponce Enrile, Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Richard Gordon and Jamby Madrigal both lost in their bid to become President, and Mar Roxas has apparently lost his bid for Vice President.

Senior citizens Aquilino Pimentel and Rodolfo Biazon both had their proxy candidates who lost in their campaign for the Senate (daughter Gwen Pimentel and son Ruffy Biazon).

And it took Alfredo Lim just 3 years to get tired of the Senate. He was elected Mayor of Manila back in 2007.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Philippine Senate, Batch of 2010

A look at the names that the people of the Philippines chose on Monday to comprise half of the Senate:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Facebook Campaign, Pt. 2

Now that the election is over, here's a look back at the growth in Facebook fans of the Philippine presidential candidates since the start of the year. (See my previous post, from back in February)

Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar kept a surprisingly tight race going for most of this graph, with Aquino leading by just around 40,000 fans-- until around April, when the anti-Villar propaganda began to pile up and Aquino began to pull away. The lead widened to 100,000 in late April, then something weird happened to Noynoy's fan page (his official site described it as a technical and security issue), rendering it mostly inaccessible. This allowed Villar to take the lead just days before the election.

Gibo Teodoro placed a valiant third. The others, by comparison, are hardly worth mentioning.

It's interesting to note that Erap Estrada, though ranking a shockingly strong second place in the actual election, is a very distant 6th place on Facebook. I don't have a single friend that supports him.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nothing to Offer but Sincerity

Once again looking into the past through the thick lens of perspective, here's a good long New York Times article from 1990 titled "Cory Aquino's Downhill Slide" by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Stanley Karnow. Some excerpts:
  • For all her achievements, however, Aquino has lost the luster she enjoyed after toppling Marcos, when the world exalted her as the devout housewife who had exorcised evil. Her approval ratings in the Philippines, once astronomic, have dropped to below 50 percent.
  • "We like Cory personally, but nothing has changed".
  • "She is sincere, moral and honest, but the presidency is obviously beyond her, beyond her capabilities, beyond her experience."
  • "We hope that she'll muddle through," says a senior [US] State Department official, "but she simply doesn't know how to govern"
The Philippines needs more people to remember what it was really like having a president with no qualifications, no accomplishments, and nothing to offer but a stoic sense of sincerity.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Comelec Precinct Finder

The Comelec website has this Precinct Finder, which is a very cool thing. For one thing, it tells you exactly where to go to vote on May 10.


Even cooler, it tells you exactly where anyone will be going to vote on May 10, provided you know their full name and date of birth. For example...

GLORIA MACARAEG MACAPAGAL ARROYO / April 05, 1947
PAMPANGA, LUBAO, LUBAO EAST CENTRAL ELEM. SCHOOL

BENIGNO SIMEON III COJUANGCO AQUINO / February 08, 1960
TARLAC, CITY OF TARLAC, CENTRAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

MANUEL JR. BAMBA VILLAR / December 13, 1949
NCR - FOURTH DISTRICT, CITY OF LAS PI√ĎAS, STI COVERED COURT

GILBERTO, JR. COJUANGCO TEODORO / June 14, 1964
TARLAC, MAYANTOC, CARABAOAN ELEM. SCHOOL

JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA / April 19, 1937
NCR - SECOND DISTRICT, SAN JUAN CITY, PEDRO CRUZ ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

RICHARD JUICO GORDON / August 05, 1945
ZAMBALES, OLONGAPO CITY, EAST TAPINAC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

EMMANUEL DAPIDRAN PACQUIAO / December 17, 1978
SARANGANI, KIAMBA, KIAMBA, CENTRAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

MANUEL ARANETA ROXAS / May 13, 1957
CAPIZ, ROXAS CITY, RUFINA ANDRADA SANTOS MEM. SCHOOL

IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS / July 02, 1929
ILOCOS NORTE, BATAC CITY, M. MARCOS MEM. ELEM. SCHOOL

FIDEL VALDEZ RAMOS / March 18, 1928
PANGASINAN, ASINGAN, NARCISO R. RAMOS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


I was hoping to find some prominent political personality who scandalously is not registered to vote, but so far have had no such luck.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cebu in 2005 and 2009

Google Maps recently updated their satellite imagery for Cebu City, for the first time in years. The previous data was from 2005, and the new data brings a whole four-year jump to 2009. Here are some highlights of what's changed.

Mandaue Reclamation Area
Previously barren land now has the glorious Cebu International Convention Center, and just across the street is the new Parkmall.

Asiatown IT Park
Five new high rise office buildings and a newly rebuilt mall. The jail beside the business park has been dismantled. And amazingly, the slum area to the north disappeared and was replaced by greenery.

Cebu Business Park
A bunch of new high rise hotels, office buildings, and Ayala Center Cebu added a new expansion wing and the wonderful Terraces.

SM City Cebu
The already huge SM City Cebu added a huge expansion wing on top of its parking lot, making it the 4th largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 11th largest in the world.

South Road PropertiesSadly the area that showed endless promise in 2005 still has nothing to show for it but endless promise today. Aside from extravagant street lights and a pointless red sidewalk to nowhere, the place is practically unchanged.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Photoshopping of Manny Villar

Left: Manny Villar at the T'nalak Festival in Koronadal City in July 2009, captured by Louie D. Photography and uploaded to Flickr.
Right: Manny Villar as seen on his official website in March 2010.

One note of comfort, at least he has more than one of those orange golf shirts.