Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sen Bernie Sanders Amazing Speech!

Sen.Bernie Sanders made an amazing apeech not just about taxes indicating statistics on who benefit and suffer the most, but on the disparity between the rich and the poor...of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Hoping this video hits a chord on influential people with conscience and they do somehing about it...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

ATM Fraud getting more sophisticated...

ATM fraud has gotten more sophisticated over the years. I've attached a link from Yahoo Finance on ATM Fraud.

Tips to Stay Safe [source: Yahoo! Finance]

Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you go to withdraw cash:

• Be picky about what ATMs you use. "Don't go up to an ATM in a dark place," Krebs said. "Find one that's in a well-lit area, publicly visible and not tucked away somewhere."

• Trust your instincts. If something doesn't look right or feel right, move on to the next ATM. "Victims have said that they had a feeling when they were using the machines that something wasn't right," said Javelin's Vamosi.

• As you key in your PIN, cover the keyboard with the other hand to block anyone or a camera from seeing.

• Don't use ATMs with unusual signage or instructions, such as a command to enter your PIN twice to complete a transaction.

• Use ATMs with which you're familiar. If you travel, stick to ATMs at a bank branch. "Using a stand-alone ATM is like playing Russian roulette, especially in major metropolitan cities," said Robert Siciliano, a McAfee consultant and founder of IDTheftSecurity.com.

So how can you tell if an ATM has been altered with a skimming device or camera?

A lot of skimming devices are "stuck onto the machine or nearby with Velcro or two-sided tape," Siciliano said.

Keypads that aren't concave, for example, could have overlays that flatten or pull the surface of the keys out. A card-reader slot might have a perfectly molded attachment over it that pops off. Some skimmers are custom-made with matching molding and a color that corresponds to a targeted ATM.

Monday, November 01, 2010

No rough times can be too tough not to overcome...

This song sang by Bjoern Casapietra was sent to me by a friend before I went through my operation 5 years ago. I guess the memories will always be there as we learn to move on and survive all our trials in life...

No rough times can ever be too tough not to overcome...big words...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MDG Congress to be Held in Philippines

this is good news...full article below from the Facebook page of the UN Millenium Campaign. Websites below:

MDG Congress to be Held in Philippines
by United Nations Millennium Campaign on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 4:41am

MANILA, Philippines, October 18, 2010—In a bid to accelerate the achievement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before the 2015 deadline, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the United Nations (UN) System in the Philippines will lead a gathering of high-level representatives from national government agencies to give an overview of their respective breakthrough plans.

The MDG Congress follows results of the MDG Review Summit held on September 20-22 in New York. It serves to commemorate the October 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and United Nations Day on Oct. 24. The Congress will be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City on Monday, October 18.

UN Resident Coordinator Jacqueline Badcock, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. and DFA Secretary Alberto Romulo will lead the opening activities.

President Benigno Aquino III is expected to deliver the keynote address and join the other heads of departments to participate in a ceremony signifying commitment to the MDGs through their integration in the country’s Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP).

The Department of Health will report its Breakthrough Plan on Reducing Child Mortality, Improving Maternal Health and Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases (MDGs 4,5 & 6); the Department of Education on Achieving Universal Primary Education (MDG 2); the Department of Social Welfare and Development on Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger (MDG 1); the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Ensuring Environmental Sustainability (MDG 7); the Philippine Commission on Women on Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women (MDG 3); and the Department of Budget and Management on Financing the MDGs (MDG 8).

The closing remarks will be delivered by Sec. Jesse Robredo of the Department of Interior and Local Government to give emphasis to the importance of localizing the MDGs.

The UN Millennium Campaign success stories publication, “Accelerating MDG Achievement,” also the theme of this year’s MDG Congress, will be distributed during the MDG Congress. The publication features stories on how various stakeholders are contributing to achieve the MDGs through their own programs and activities. For the first time since the September 17-19 global mobilization against poverty, Stand Up, Take Action, video will be shown during the Congress to showcase partners’ activities calling for concerted efforts to make the MDGs a reality for every Filipino in the next five years.

In the afternoon, the annual wreath-laying ceremony for United Nations Day will be held at the tomb of Carlos P. Romulo, a Filipino diplomat who served eight Philippine Presidents as a representative to the UN, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. This will be followed by a UN Diplomatic Reception to celebrate the founding of the UN, hosted by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Representatives of the UN Country Team, the Philippine diplomatic corps, accredited international organizations and other representatives from the government will attend the reception.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Perfect Heart...

a beautiful story...I think the hard part is giving love a chance and having that love unrequited or thrown back at you. Yet the heart remains open so that they who deserve your love may one day return and fill the empty space. Though that one day may turn out be too late, the heart should remain open...

via Paulo Coelho's Blog... sent by Priya Sher

A young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it.

But an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said,
“Your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.”

The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in … but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. The young man looked at the old man’s heart and laughed.

“You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine … mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”

“Yes,” said the old man, “Yours is perfect looking … but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love….. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them … and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges.

“ Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away … and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges … giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too … and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart.
It fit …. but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.

Friday, October 01, 2010


45 LESSONS LIFE TAUGHT ME…Written by Regina Brett, of the Plain Dealer:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it. 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. 19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Monday, September 27, 2010


long story but worth reading and reflecting on

Author Unknown
September 6, 2010

A 91-year-old woman died after living a very long dignified life. When she met God, she asked Him something that had really bothered her for a very long time. "If Man was created in God's image, and if all men are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?"

God replied that each person who enters our life has a unique lesson to teach us. It is only through these lessons that we learn about life, people and our relationships with God.

This confused the woman, so God began to explain:

"When someone lies to you, it teaches you that things are not alwayswhat they seem. The truth is often far beneath the surface. Lookbeyond the masks people wear if you want to know what is in theirhearts. Remove your own masks to let people know who you really are.

When someone steals from you it teaches you that nothing is forever.Always appreciate what you have. You never know when you might loseit. Never take your friends or family for granted, because today andsometimes only this very moment is the only guarantee you may have.

When someone inflicts injury upon you, it teaches you that the humanstate is a very fragile one. Protect and take care of your body asbest as you can, it's the one thing that you are sure to have forever.

When someone mocks you, it teaches you that no two people are alike.When you encounter people who are different from you, do not judgethem by how they look or act, instead base it on the contents of whatis in their hearts.

When someone breaks your heart, it teaches you that loving someonedoes not always mean that the person will love you back. But don'tturn your back on love, because when you find the right person, thejoy that one person brings you will make up for all of your pasthurts. Times a thousand fold.

When someone holds a grudge against you, it teaches you that everyonemakes mistakes. When you are wronged, the most virtuous thing you cando is forgive the offender without pretense. Forgiving those who havehurt us is often the most difficult and painful of life's experiences,but it is also the most courageous thing a person can do.

When a loved one is unfaithful to you, it teaches you that resistingtemptation is Man's greatest challenge. Be vigilant in your resistanceagainst all temptations. By doing so, you will be rewarded with anenduring sense of satisfaction far greater than the temporary pleasure by which you were tempted.

When someone cheats you, it teaches you that greed is the root of allevil. Aspire to make your dreams come true, no matter how lofty theymay be. Do not feel guilty about your success, but never let an obsession with achieving your goals lead you to engage in malevolent activities.

When someone ridicules you, it teaches you that nobody is perfect.Accept people for their merits and be tolerant of their flaws. Do notever reject someone for imperfections over which they have no control."

Upon hearing the Lord's wisdom, the old woman became concerned thatthere are no lessons to be learned from man's good deeds. God repliedthat Man's capacity to love is the greatest gift He has. At the rootof kindness and love, and each act of love also teaches us a lesson. The woman's curiosity deepened. God, once again began to explain:

"When someone loves us, it teaches us love, kindness, charity, honesty, humility, forgiveness, acceptance, and all of these can counteract all the evil in the world. For every good deed, there is one evil deed. Man alone has the power to control the balance between good and evil, but because the lessons of love are not taught often enough, the power is too often abused.

When you enter someone's life, whether by plan, chance or coincidence,consider what your lesson will be. Will you teach love or a harsh lesson of reality? When you die, will your life have resulted in more loving or more hurting? More comfort or more pain? More joy or more sadness? Each one of us has the power over the balance of the love in the world. Use it wisely!"

Don't miss an opportunity to nudge the world's scale in the rightdirection!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Bwalya's Inspiring Story of Hope....

Bwalya, the 12-year old girl featured in the recent HBO documentary “The Lazarus Effect” — passed away on August 14th. Her story continues to inspire and give hope to those she left behind..

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Time to Have Quality Time with Them...

My parents are moving in with me any day soon. My Dad had a stroke a few months back and now has to go through a series of therapies to be able to walk again. His right side was paralyzed but has regained some movement.He may not be able to fully regain his reflexes but he can at least use a walker to be able to walk again.

It's a lot of hard work and expensive. He and my mom need at least 2 nurses to take turns taking care of them. Actually, not really nurses, just people who can monitor his blood pressure and look after them when everyone's away at work.

It's my turn to take care of them now. Some sacrifices for me though...no vacation to far away places where I can be alone and reflect on life, less time for myself and kids. But Mom's now 82 and Dad 84. I haven't really spent quality time...not even much time with them since I started working to earn my own living.It's a 6-hour drive to where they live now with my brother and it doesn't help that I don't get along with my brother either.

It's time I spent and devoted more time for them...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A New President...New Hope for a Better Tomorrow...

Sharing a video that changed the history of the Filipino people in 1986 through a peaceful Edsa People Power Revolution. The late President Corazon C. Aquino, who was one of the most influential figures at that time, supported the Edsa Revolution together with other spiritual and political leaders to oust the late President Ferdinand Marcos who governed the Philippines since he became President in 1961 and declared Martial Law in 1972 until the Edsa Revolution in 1986.

On June 30,2010, newly-elected Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, Jr., son of the late President Aquino, took his oath of office as President. As the Filipinos continue to struggle for peace, justice and equality, the new President brings with him a fresh hope that the Filipinos can one day achieve what they have always struggled for.

We should never lose hope that this can happen...and that there is indeed hope for a better tomorrow...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My activist friend V M Raste, Mighty Billionaire Ambani Brothers, and the Indian Government...

Last May 7, 2010 the Indian Supreme Court came out with its final judgment on the 4-year old dispute between billionaire brothers Anil Ambani (34th world richest) of Reliance Natural Resources Ltd vs. Mukesh Ambani (7th wordl richest) of Reliance Industries Ltd.

I am posting this entry in support of the advocacy for truth and justice, of Team Corporate Watch - Convener, VM Raste and his advocate friends. Their efforts finally bore fruit with the Indian Supreme Court decision declaring among others,that government policy on natural gas pricing and allocation be reviewed, and that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ambani brothers to settle their internal family disputes, which became the basis for the Scheme of Arrangement on the production and supply of natural gas that affected millions of shareholders and 1.2 billion citizens, be fully disclosed and also reviewed.

Of personal significance to me as an ordinary observer, are the implications of how the rich and powerful could have imposed their personal interests on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding mediated by their mother to come out with the Scheme to settle their differences. There was total disregard on the effect on their millions of shareholders and on the possible impact on the world market on the production, sale and distribution of natural gas, had the Supreme Court not overruled the initial judgment that the MOU was binding and that the Ambani brothers can dictate its own pricing on natural gas owned by the people of India without the guidance of a government policy.

VM Raste on his own personal conviction, represented the millions of minority shareholders affected by the MOU and arrangement between the Ambani brothers. As Petitioner, Mr Raste submitted the following to the Supereme Court:

• The order of the Hon’ble Division Bench shall be set aside.
• MOU shall be directed to be produced even at this late hour.
• GSMA (Gas Sales & Master Agreement) shall be changed as mentioned above in respect of price, 40 % option volumes and affiliates.
• The Hon’ble Court shall order examination of the entire issue of MOU comprehensively by a panel of experts without any conflict of interest.
• The EGOM (empowered Group of Ministers) shall be directed to review the gas pricing and allocation decisions in the broader Public Interest.

He also emphasized in his petition that the MOU divided the property between the brothers on a 60%-40% ratio when their total shareholdings in the company was only 37%...the remaining 63% were held by other minority shareholders.

A link on the full text of VM Raste's written submissions is provided here for reference : http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/vishweshwar-m-raste/reliance-natgas-case-in-the-supreme-court-our-written-submissions/228451680635 .

The case, which primarily involved the production, supply, pricing and sale of India's natural gas, could easily be one of the biggest court cases in the world involving over US$100billion. With the decision, and if the present policy is effectively reviewed the government of India stands to gain an estimated $50billion.

In essence, the court ruled on the following:

1) the Company Judge and Division Bench made an error in confirming that the MOU was binding
2) the parties to renegotiate as to the suitable arrangements for supply of gas, within the framework of government policy;
3) The government frames a comprehensive policy/suitable legislation with regard to energy security of India and supply of natural gas under production sharing contracts.

I read the 267-page Supreme Court ruling with keen interest, though initially confused with the many acronyms used on companies and agencies affected by the dispute...a simple indicator on the impact of the case to many agencies and 1.2 billion people.

To access the full Supreme Court decision:

1) click on the link http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/helddis3.aspx
2) click on Home>Petitioner/Respondent
3) Enter "Reliance" on the "Petitioner/Respondent" field
4) Enter "07May2010" on the"To Date" field

Related entries I posted on VM Raste's advocacies:


I will leave the more detailed aspect of the judgment to the advocates who will be coming out with their article on their analysis of the judgment. This personal entry is my own little voice supporting what I believe in.

On a personal note, I have always expressed my open support for VM Raste's quest for truth and justice and still do. I end this entry with a message of best wishes of success for all his endeavors...Salute.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Poverty of Hope"

When I read about World Vision child protection policy adviser, Jesse Eaves' journal about his travels in Eastern Eurpoe, I took particular notice to his story on Romania. What actually caught my attention and made me want to read on were the words trafficking in Romania. It made me recall a friend's story about women trafficking there. Young women and children in poor areas of Romania were abducted or lured to neighboring countries only to be sold as prostitues. Some were never heard from again.

Jesse Eaves' journals were very interesting. It spoke of the harsh realities of poverty where children were separated from their parents or abadoned. His statement that even in Europe there are impoverished people and that he didn't have to look far to see this couldn't have been emphasized more. It made me think of the children in Smokey Moutain who have to be scavengers in a mountain pile of garbage just to be able to survive, or the children who were made to drag tons of logs instead of carabaos just so they can buy food for the day. It was the same everywhere...only some are in worse situations. But one can make a difference and change things if we choose to go beyond despair and hopelessness. Eaves' Day 2 Journal showed how a child's experience with poverty can make her determined to overcome her family's impoverished plight.

His Day5 journal was most interesting. He spoke of a guy named Steve Haas who works for World Vision in the United States. Steve Haas had given an amazing talk about how poverty is not just about money; it’s also about broken relationships. Another World Vision member had said that the biggest obstacle in combating poverty had nothing to do with economic poverty. She said the hardest part is dealing with what she called the “poverty of hope.”

Eaves explained “poverty of hope” beautifully in his journal:

"I think about the children forced to beg in Albania and the mothers who rent out their babies to forced begging gangs.If there’s one thing I’ve realized on this trip, it’s that when people seize the opportunity to improve their lives, access to money alone is not the solution. By talking with people who took advantage of World Vision programs, I learned that the most important thing for them was not monetary but relational.
I saw this relational enrichment in people like Flori in Albania, reaching out to kids in his old community to show there is a way out. I saw it with Nina in Georgia, who not only got off the streets and into a job, but was able to begin the healing process of dealing with her family’s past and reconnecting with her brother and father. And I saw it with Karina in Romania and her determination to heal her mother’s poverty of hope through succeeding in school, remaining vigilant against exploitation, and being a living example of optimism to her siblings. All of these individuals took action in the face of adversity and we must do the same.

And before you shrug it off and say, “Well, there’s poverty everywhere. What are we going to do?” More often than not, we ignore the more than 2,000 Bible passages calling us to seek justice and work on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited. We hear the words. We see the images. But we fail to act. We look the other way.

Through looking at specific examples of poverty, exploitation, and empowerment, I want to challenge us to expand our personal faith into a public and transforming relationship with the poor. If you get nothing else out of these entries, at least understand that you have a role to play in ending injustice."

Jesse Eaves' Journals:

Monday, February 01, 2010

For such is life…

For such is life…

Ups and downs
Highs and lows
Wins and losses
Tears and laughter
Happiness and grief
Life and death…

But one cannot go lower when already at the deepest
One cannot lose more when there is nothing else to gain
One cannot laugh endlessly when even happiness can bring tears
One cannot grieve forever when time somehow softens the grief
Only death is forever...but maybe there is an afterlife...