Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Affable Atheist

Affable atheist.

The Unholy Father Apologizes

Holy Cow! Mr. Pope apologized to the Muslims. It's a good sign or what? This pope guy is not "sinless" or "holy" - whatever those words mean. He is just as human as anybody else, prone to commit mistakes. Haha.

Anger with Pope Benedict XVI had intensified across the Muslim world Saturday, uniting Sunni Islam's leading authority, Malaysia's moderate premier, and Afghanistan's extremist Taliban militia.

Now, that's a potently dangerous mix of nutcases to get angry at the pope, don't you think? Is Mr. Pope afraid of going to heaven now courtesy of a fatwa?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

OFWs as Export Commodities

Japan and the Philippines signed a free-trade agreement. Its most important feature is the provisions on the movement of labor. Rather than bringing the jobs home, this fake Arroyo administration sees OFWs like myself as export commodity. When I was to leave for Tokyo last June, the immigration officer held me until I produced a POEA permit. I don't usually get an OCW permit because of lack of time and to avoid the hassles of dealing with the bureaucracy. But if I didn't get the permit, I had to pay for travel tax and terminal fees for me and my family. Last June, I had to pay for three people, but still I had to go back to the POEA because the immigration officer wouldn't let me leave, which I could not afford. At the POEA desk, I had to argue with the guy on the desk because he was not very quick in processing my request, my flight was close to boarding and he was not in a hurry at all pausing to listen to his colleagues gossip. After getting my POEA permit, I went back to the desk where I earlier paid for my travel tax then terminal fees if I could get my money back (1,600 + 550 for three people or about 6,500 pesos). They said I can only get my refund from the main POEA office, which I suppose is the one in EDSA corner Ortigas avenue, and which is like saying: good luck dude. We always have to pay dearly for our government's inefficiencies. After going back to the immigration officer with the permit, she had to give me a lecture about the importance of getting the POEA for my own protection from my employer. I told her I work for a very good company, which is a fact. This company has done me more good than any of our government agencies, save the public school system. (I attended a public elementary school.) She insisted that I was making a mistake by not availing myself of the POEA permit, that if in case problems erupt in the country where I work, I will be helped by OWWA because I am registered. BIG DEAL. The war in Lebanon highlighted what kind of help I shall be expecting if and when that actually happens. The OWWA didn't have the funds nor the muscle for such a situation. Our govenrment is so weak and ineffective when dealing with events outside our country, and yet, one of the main push of this government is to continue to commoditize its citizen, to deploy to all corners of the world. If penguins hire househelps and nannies, we'd be in Antarctica.

Our government negotiated the free trade agreement with Tokyo which includes the provision for the deployment of nurses and caregivers. The pact is about free trade. We get electronics, in exchange, the Japanese gets our nurses among other commodities. Fair trade?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Deja Vu

A few hours ago as I just stepped into the elevator at the train station, I had my book (The World Is Flat by Friedman) ready on this page with my index finger acting as bookmark. I had been reading the book in my commute and it was such a good read I could not close it even as I walk to the turnstiles. Just as I stepped into the lift, I opened the book to continue reading it, I had a deja vu. Not only that I thought it was queer coincidence but a few moments right before the deja vu happened, I thought I predicted that I would be having the deja vu. Afterwards, I kept on thinking how was that even possible? In the end, I thought when I first got hold of the book, I must have casually opened it in that exact page and read a paragraph or two, but which I already put deep in my subconscious for forgetting. Then since I take the elevator quite often, the memories of both events were combined to make the collage that is the deja vu. Plausible? Hhhmmm....