Philippine Society. Politics. Rants. Critiques.

Top 10 Funny Swat Acronyms

| Sunday, August 29, 2010
After the Manila Hostage Tragedy, a lot of acrostics for S.W.A.T. came out, well that’s ofcourse it digressed from the original Special Weapon and Tactics.

Here’s my Top 10:

10 – Sh3t Wala Akong Teargas

9 – Stupid Wipe A$$ Team

8 – Stupid Weapons And Tactics

7 – Samahan ng Walang Asensong Tao

6 – Sorry We Aren’t Trained

5 – Sobrang Walang Alam Talaga

4 – Stand and Watch All the Time

3 – Sana ‘Wag Akong Tamaan

2 – Sige! Wait Atras Tayo!

1 – Sharon Wow! Ang Taba!


On a personal note:

I would like to ask for an apology for the people who, are in a way were affected or deeply offended by this post. The joke was meant to crack up and lighten the very serious SWAT issues we had during the last August 23 crisis. The number 1 spot was an obvious digression from the real meaning of SWAT and that has been seen as a basic element of a comedic posts.

I thank all of the readers for their expressions of concern. I sincerely thank you for your time and effort in reading my entries. Enjoy your day... with a smile! :-)

A Word of Thanks Part II

| Saturday, August 28, 2010
Yes. A Word of Thanks Part II.

Well, this is because I’ve already made another one a few months back. But anyways, I’ve made this second entry to once again thank all of my readers.

I made this blog for my personal enjoyment while at the same time express my rants, my critiques, and my view of the Philippine political scene and the world.

I’ve started posting my entries 4 months ago and I can say I’ve had bunch of positive reactions from my readers. As of this writing, this blog had 1,000+ views from the Philippines just after four months of blogging with only 39 entries.

Thank you for those people who followed this blog; as of this writing there are thirteen; One for NetworkedBlogs and 12 for Google.

Thank you for those people who cited my blog as their reference for their academic papers.

Thank you to Nanardxz, a fellow blogger that included my blog on his Top 10 Emerging Influential Blog.

According to his blog, an “emerging influential blogger” is:
An influential blogger is simply someone who can inspire and motivate others. Someone who can make you reach your goals, someone who can make you pursue the things you want to do, and someone who can keep you moving forward with aplomb and grace of a running deer in the prairie.

Thanks Nanardxz!

Thanks also for the bunch of private message I’ve been receiving from you guys most especially about my posts. Gracias todos!

From the bottom of my heart, a million thanks! I will continue to write what I believe is right.

Manila Hostage Crisis: MPD Needs to Play Counter Strike

| Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost a week has passed since the Manila Hostage Tragedy. This may be quite long overdue but still I had to share my views on this one. With the Philippines being on the international press once again, I should never miss this featuring this one on my blog.

As we all know, the handling of the siege was a failure; there are two things I’ve learned. First, not all Chinese knows kung fu because if they do, they should’ve kicked Mendoza’s guts out. Second, I realized that both the PNP and SWAT need to play Counter Strike. Seriously, this is how my August 23rd night went:

I just finished taking my midterm exam in Property subject at MSU College of Law. I hiked away to go back home. Before finally going out of the campus, I’ve caught a throng of university and law students gathering in front of the flat screen TV mounted on one of MSU-IIT’s lounges.

What I saw was a tourist bus surrounded by a throng of creeping policemen on a dark rainy night. They lobbed to tear gas into the bus. There was hostage taking situation in the Quirino Grandstand, Manila.

I’ve thought of it as an inconsequential event so I just straddled my way. Maybe it was just a trivial hostage drama, I thought. As I’m approaching towards our lodging house, I’ve noticed that TV sets are all tuned in to the same hostage drama taking place. And it then made me curious why it was broadcasted play-by-play on live TV.

Reaching my place, I hurriedly turned my TV on and found out that yes, it was a hostage taking of a certain Police Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza. Earlier in the day, according to reports, Mendoza hitched a ride on the Hong Thai Bus but then pulled out an M16 automatic rifle and declared he was taking the 25 passengers hostage.

With the hostage taking starting at 10:30 AM, it ended nearly half a day. A total of seven hostages were released before six o’clock and before the agitated hostage taker initiated the carnage. Mendoza would have been trained in police tactics and known what to expect and as it seemed, he was better trained than the 200-strong (?) police and SWAT team that assaulted him.

At the end of the day, eight innocent Hong Kong nationals died. A both fiasco and carnage witnessed by the 90 million Filipinos and the rest of the whole wide world (through CNN, BBC, Fox News,etc.)

If there was a day that made me ashamed of being a Filipino, last Monday would probably be one. Even if I was not personally involved; I was outraged on how things went awry which should have been prevented if only brains were used instead of plain stupidity.

A lot of things and changes ought to be done (as always). Our policemen and SWAT were too coward not to employ an aggression that would follow through. Kapag may putok mula sa bus, kanya-kanya na sila nang retreat at tago. That's why I suggest our cops to play computer games like Splinter Cell, Delta Force or old school Counter Strike. They may also watch movies that should help them improve in strategizing: Misdirection techniques in Swordfish; Injection of sleeping gas, compressed air propelled hook to puncture the door to be pulled by a truck, and false broadcast courtesy of Speed 1. Or infrared scopes from that of the movie, Navy Seals.

MPD have shown to the world that we lack equipment. Are we really that poor not to have ladders? No flashlights attached to firearms? No night vision goggles? Although we clearly had other things that may be of use: a sledgehammer and an old rope that would snap after tying it to the door.

Another possible option’s that they could have just accepted his demands. He could be reinstated in the police - and then be immediately put in prison for life for hostage taking. It’s a must to hear the grievance of Mendoza first, and give initial soft assurance. After all he is not doing it for money.

My brothers and sisters in the media should also be partly blamed for the bloody end of the incident. They covered it as it happens without knowing that they’ve been giving the hostage taker leeway to ascertain the movements of the detachments. The live coverage could have been giving Mendoza up-to-date knowledge of how the police are trying to sneak up on him. Definitely not an intelligent move.

What the media did as part of their job completely disregarded the safety of both the hostages and the police. News blackout might be good as it was used by the Arroyo administration in a coup attempt a few years back. No one was hurt; no fatalities. After seeing his brother’s arrest, the hostage taker started killing some of his hostages in protest of what the police did to his brother. They should not have telecasted live since we know how the police might screw this up.

With its apparent international implications, Pres. Noynoy Aquino should have been visibly engaged in hostage situations. The event surely is a difficult challenge for the communications group of PNoy; not to mention his image-building moves. He just came out after the carnage; obviously showing signs of lousiness. Unavailable and cannot be reached by both reporters and Donald Tsang; that day, I felt that Isko Moreno was our president. Let’s see how he would skip this one. Tan-awa. Mao man gu’y inyong gebotaran.

To quote from Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's leader, “The way it was handled [by the Philippine police], particularly the outcome, is disappointing.” Ouch. The truth hurts. (Click here for the anime reenactment of the incident)

So, what are the things to expect for the weeks, months, and years to come? A lot of negative things. Hong Kong has placed the Philippines on the blacklist of countries to actively avoid, urging its nationals currently in the Philippines to immediately pack up and leave. We may expect maulings and dismissals of our OFW’s working in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China. Singapore (with 70% of its population are Chinese) and Malaysia (around 40% Chinese, forming the urban majority in some cities) may follow suit.

At this point in time, a full report is eminent. It has to present thorough detailed crime scene including autopsy reports (if any) of the deceased and surviving victims. Full scale investigation will also be carried out in Hong Kong by those surviving victims and whether there was negligence. If there was sufficient evidence, the victims will then seek legal experts and most likely will convene a class action law suit against the Philippines government for unspecified sum for the deceased and victims.

Our already damaged reputation was exacerbated by our incompetence in handling these situations. As of the moment, it seems there’s a pint of hope left to ease off the siege’s effects. Unless we change our rotten system, the world will have no choice but to see us all in a bad light. We simply can’t beg other nationalities to see us positively with all this happening. Venus Raj’s win in the Miss Universe did not do much. A teenager’s letter hoping that “the world will know who the Filipinos are and that we're not all like Mendoza” did not do much either.

After all, it’s major, major big mistake to correct a big wrong decision.

Isang Kritikal na Pagsusuri: Ang Wikang Ingles bilang Medium of Instruction

| Saturday, August 21, 2010

Panaghiusa Mindanao Rap: The Voice of Mindanao

| Sunday, August 8, 2010

Last week, I had the opportunity of shooting a music video with the Rapnophobia Clan (Iligan City's top rap group). We shot the video at Initao-Libertad Protected Seascape and Landscape.

The setting was just so amazing, a forest overlooking the rich Misamis Oriental shores. It was last week when we released the video but the song was recorded two months ago.

The word, panaghiusa means "unity" in Cebuano. Last dry season (not summertime); I told Spyx of my intentions of making a rap collaboration with him which he replied positively.

Then, last May, I went to their crib and recorded this song at his home studio. It was my first personal contact with the Rapnophobia Clan. Spyx was my student in Philippine History last year and, it was also last year, when I found out about Rapnophobia's cybersuccess as well as Spyx's Youtube videos that has tens of thousands of views already.

Spyx was our director for the shoot. He chose for the location of the shoot as with the concept.
The whole point of the vid was simple: Mindanaoans letting their voices be heard about the so-called "Mindanao Conflict".

The problem here is quite internal and was from age-old conflict between the Spanish and the Mindanao Muslims and Lumads. Definitely, we can not point out some of the many reasons for the wars' continuity.

The Mindanao conflict is not because of a religious issue. Of the many factors; we can blame it to the sensationalized "bombing and terrorism" news of the media (99% of TV news about Mindanao are all about bombings, terrorisms, etc. according to the UP undergrad thesis of Miss Quebee Dusaran and Rawnna Crisostomo), the inability of the government to address the basic necessities in the region, the deaf ears of the central government to the Muslims and minorities, as well as the age-old psychological biases and prejudices held off against both the Lumads and Muslims.

The video tells the world of our small voices. I, JR Lopez Gonzales, represent the voice of the Ilonggos (although, I've only two lines of Hiligaynon dialect and with the rest in Tagalog); Zeff represents the Muslims (he used his native Maranao dialect), and Spyx rapped in Bisaya-Iligan. The song was not just a simple rap song about the war, but a song that aimed to enlighten each Filipino's mind about the causes and probable solutions to this problem.

We stand against wars as aside from being costly, would never kill ideologies. We advocate peace and lasting harmony between the Mindanaoans by eradicating the psychological barriers as well as the prejudices that we have against each other.

We believe that any ethnic group is capable of loving and caring. We aim for love to reign in the Mindanao Island. We are advocates of cultural understanding and equal treatment. We despise how the media treats the whole island of Mindanao as the place where evil terrorists lurk. We love our heritage; we need the government to work for peace and development here in the place where we're born. We firmly believe that unless understanding be fostered; there will never be genuine peace

As such, we ask for your support; we ask for your participation for change. This video may be a small contribution yet we aim that our message would get across every viewer's heart and soul. (If you're with us, we would be happy if you'd share the video to other people).

We are the voice of Mindanao. The key that would open up understanding and peace lies in our very hands. One Mindanao, One Philippines. Love and faith has no religion. We all want peace and we are one.