Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Experience Sex With the Dead with My Ex-Wife

Comment from a reader on Halloween sex: I fully support the efforts of the Macapagal Arroyos to criminalize sex with a dead person. I experienced this despicable act with my first wife toward the end of our marriage and prior to our subsequent divorce. It was degrading, demoralizing and caused grave injury to my libido that took weeks of corrective therapy with suitably loose women to repair. Sex with the functionally dead is extremely damaging to the male psychology and must be outlawed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Philippines is Dysfunctional

Comment from a reader on Who Are You Kidding? Bugle, lets just review some basic necessities that well functioning, responsible or developed economies typically provide for their citizens: Water that will not kill you or make you seriously ill if you drink it. Electricity that is reliable and reasonably affordable, not 10 times more expensive than California. I have compared my electric bills and that's a fact! Food or rice, being the main Filipino staple, that is actually clean and edible without stones from the national highways that they are dried on. Public schools that are truly free for all students, with adequate textbooks and proper class size. Adequate, affordable clothing for all, not used, donated clothing from other countries that have actually been obtained from international relief agencies and illegally sold to anyone at relatively expensive prices. Ever heard of ukay-ukay? Corrupt free government, business and society. The Philippines is still one of the most corrupt countries in the world. 

From the Bugle: Yawn. Yes plenty of problems, but it is improving, fastest growing economy in Asia, decreasing corruption, blah blah blah. Are you as tired as we are of having this same repetitive conversation? If you don't like it here, go home. 

Philippines Improves Ranking in Latest Transparency International Corruption Index

Philippine Embassy, Oslo, Norway
The Philippines improved its ranking by 24 points in this year’s Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), ranking 105th out of 174 countries measured in the CPI compared to last year’s 129th ranking.
The latest ranking also boosted the Philippines’ position among its Southeast Asian neighbors, moving two (2) points up to 5th place out of the 10 Southeast Asian countries from last year’s 7th place ranking, overtaking Indonesia and Vietnam.
Transparency International cited the following reasons for the improvement in the Philippines’ ranking this year and the change in public perception: the impeachment trials, the declaration of Sworn Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) by all government workers, the transparent process of the Chief Justice replacement, the first year of the new Ombudsman, and the general openness of the Administration in the quest for a transparent government.
The National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines (NCC) also cites the strides made in areas of procurement and reform as well as budget transparency as contributors to the positive change in public perception in the government’s fight against corruption.
Guillermo Luz, Co-chairman of NCC said, “We have long felt that greater transparency will lead to greater trust in the government and economy by the business community.” With respect to improvements in the areas of government procurement, he further adds that there has been “an increase in the number of prospective bidders, many of them first-time bidders, in public works contracts and public-private partnership projects.” Mr. Luz said that the bidding of public works contracts and the improved pace of government spending, coupled with the absence of corruption scandals are positive indicators that reforms are gaining traction and are having a positive impact on the Philippines’ economic growth.
He also cites the improvement in transparency with respect to the government budget pointing out how data was made easily available on the DBM’s and Budget ng Bayan websites. “This year will mark the third consecutive year that a budget will be passed on time and not re-elected in the following year,” Mr. Luz said. Re-enacted budgets, are known to create opportunities for corruption.
The latest CPO ranking demonstrates the current Administration’s serious drive for more transparency and curbing of corruption in all fronts of the bureaucracy. And while the Philippines is still below the median or halfway mark in the global list, the administration is continuing its anti-corruption focus and also hopes to reduce red tape in government.
About 70% of the world’s economies scored below 50 on the 100-point scale, illustrating that corruption is a global problem.
The 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index is an annual survey of Transparency International, a global civil society organization that advocates good governance and fights corruption. The 2012 Index used an updated methodology covering 176 countries. This updated methodology does not enable direct comparisons with prior year’s scores and ranks. The CPI 2012 ranked Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand as least corrupt while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were listed as the perceived most corrupt countries in the world.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Wake up! Pool League is for Fun

Comment from a reader on Bigots Run the Pool League: Those newly elected officers don't know what is the history of pool league in Barrio Barretto. And now that they are called "officers" I don't know what the hell are they doing for the league. Before there are more than 20 teams way back years ago, but look at now, there are only how many. because they don't like the way those officers manage the pool league.... Pool league is for fun, it is not professional players who are playing, but since there is BCA rules it seems that all players are professionals like Efren Reyes and some others. Hey pool officers wake up!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Blame the Pool League Officers for Enforcing the Rules

Comment from a reader on Bigots Run the Pool League: Just follow the league rules and there would not be a problem. Don't blame the officers for enforcing the rules. B.2.2 Male Filipino Nationals playing in the Associations leagues must be a bona fide employee of the sponsor. Employment must have been in force for a minimum of six weeks prior to eligibility. Bona fide employment shall be interpreted to mean a salaried employee with defined responsibilities and working more than a nominal amount of hours a week. The Executive Board will rule on questionable eligibilities. Play shall be limited to one male Filipino player per team, per week. B.2.3 Filipino males playing as citizens of another country must have their nationality verified by the league to be exempt from rule B.2.2. (A Copy of the passport will be held by the league secretary)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Subic Darts League has Ringers

Comment from a reader on Bigots Run the Pool LeagueNot the pool league, the darts has developed into a fiasco, with ringers , so the just so so players have stopped playing, They play for the social aspect yet the ringers are just there to win, they dont drink they dont socialise. I personally know of three player who have dropped out . Not because they are bigots its just they are out classed continually one team plays one player multiple times and guess what he wins. What he wins is mute its nothing but the team think they are great because they keep winning. I believe the rules will change next season too late this year , I guess we will be BIGOTS next year.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bigots Run the Pool League

The Barretto pool league was started in 1982. Six teams existed: J & B, Crazy Horse, Irish Rose, My Other Place, Whisky River and Midnight Rambler. From the onset, Filipino players were discouraged primarily to prevent 'ringers.' However one Filipino player was allowed whether they worked in the establishment or not. Naturally in those days and the years to follow until 1992 American players dominated the rosters. When the base finally closed there were 36 men's teams and 36 women's teams. 

Recently the pool league has elected new officers made up primarily of Europeans. Their knowledge of the history of the league, it's players, Barretto or the people who make up the barrio is marginal at best. 

As a group these men recently decided to require two men to present American passports or be kicked out of the league. These two have played unmolested for over 25 years. Way before the new officers could find the Philippines on a map. The two men in question are well known and retired from the US military as high ranking enlisted men. Most everyone knows they are US citizens who contribute to the well being of the community as members of other service organisations. The only thing that separates them from any other retirees is the brown pigment in their skin. 

Common sense on the part of these 'new' guys in the league would go far in not making this appear as blatant racism. Why not ask someone who didn't just get off the Victory Liner? Why not ask the VFW before firing off insulting letters and acting like rogue immigration agents. 

In addition we are not talking 'ringers' here. These guys ain't Efren Reyes. At best they are marginal pool players. So the charge of racism seems relevant. When a true 'ringer' arrives from Sweden or Norway, someone who stays a few weeks, someone with international standing in the billiard world...... no one says a word. But then they are white.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Private School Teachers Seek Bribes as Well

Comment from a reader on Bribing Teachers for Grades The private schools use bribery as well. When my children went to private school in the Philippines, at periodic test time, they brought a note home from the teacher requiring that the child pay "2 pesos for a xerox copy of the test" to be administered to them. There was also a stark reminder statement on the note that if they didn't pay, they would not be administered the test. So my children dutifully gave the 2 pesos to the teacher, who in turn gave them a very disapproving look. It turns out that children that gave only 2 pesos received the lowest grades. Some of the children gave the teacher 1000 or 500 pesos from home and they received A's and B's. As a dutiful parent and a quite unaware expat, I complained to the directress, who responded sternly "How else do you expect the teachers to get paid?" As I discovered in that discussion, all of the expensive private school tuition went to the school, not the teacher. The teachers were on their own to get proper compensation directly. 

From the Bugle: You should have done your homework and found a better private school for your children. Problems are rampant in public schools in the Philippines, as they are in public schools worldwide, but the country is lucky to have a large selection of high quality private schools. If you are getting hit up for bribes in your private school, pull your kids out of there. That's kind of the whole idea behind private education: you decide the school, not the government. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Just pay the cop

Comment from a reader on SCTEX corruption: Have you ever seen an overloaded truck at the SBMA Tipo inspection point offloaded. In all the years the SCTEX has been open, I have never seen even a single truck offloaded. Just ask any of the truck drivers what happens when they are overweight. They laugh and say "Just pay the cop." So add thousands of overloaded trucks on top of already substandard materials used in the construction of roads and bridges and the result is predictable. Corruption and dishonesty are the way of life here. Potholes almost as big as some cars are commonplace at SBFZ, especially where the trucks go. Every year this once beautiful refuge is looking more and more like an Olongapo junkyard. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Ignore Subic Illegal No Parking Signs and Park Where You Want

Comment from a reader on Embarrassed by RAO

The local police get a kickback by the owners for allowing them to put up restricted parking signs. Usually I just ignore them and park anyway. 

And another:

This is the way it is throughout the Philippines, not just Baretto. Take the advice of William Howard Taft... Your words will change nothing. You complain like a bunch of cackling women.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Supply and Demand

Comment from a reader on Calling all Angels: It's a matter of supply and demand. If the bar has a great supply of homely stretch mark ridden girls, expensive warm beer,crappy music & no demand - it will fail. I can't recall where a bar like that would succeed except for maybe an aircraft carrier at sea.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Where was the rebar?

Comment from a reader on SCTEX corruption: I don't believe stolen cement was the issue. There seemed to be enough in the broken portion of the bridge depicted in the news. But I sure I'm not the only observer noting the lack of a single piece of rebar. 

From the Bugle: Good point. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Who's Begging Who?

Comment from a reader on The Philippines is Changing for the Worse: If the Philippines is doing as well as you say Bugle, why can't it stand on its own 2 feet. Why is it always begging for help, primarily from the United States and Japan. The RP even tried begging from China but was immediately shot down. Is there no shame in the Philippines? Will there ever be the day that we see a sign that says "Men at Work" and we see people are actually working. Will there ever be a time in the Philippines when traffic isn't stopped on highways by people holding cups out for donations. Get to work Philippines, then you may find the beginnings of an improved country. Everyone that really wants to work has already left the place for countries that provide a better life and opportunities to succeed!

From the Bugle: Foreign and military aid is not begging. It’s how countries work together. When the United States borrows hundreds of billions from China, it's not begging it is selling bonds. When the Philippines helped bail out bankrupt Europe in 2012 by lending the IMF $1 billion, it wasn't begging by Europe. Put down your beer and pick up a Wall Street Journal sometime.

In reversal of roles, Philippines lends IMF $1 billion to boost crisis fund

June 20, 2012 9:15 PM

MANILA – The Philippines is lending the International Monetary Fund $1 billion to help stabilize the global economy amid the euro zone’s debt crisis, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said on Wednesday.

"The Philippines is supporting the global efforts to stabilize the world economy and maintain it on a growth path.  This is the reason why the Philippines is extending a $1 billion loan to the IMF. We are a member of the global community of nations and it is also in our interest to ensure economic and financial stability across the globe,”  BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.

Tetangco said the loan to the IMF is the Philippines’ way of giving back to the world’s so-called lender of last resort after it helped the country address its financial difficulties in the past.

The Philippines had been a net borrower from the IMF for almost 40 years until the country finally settled its loans in 2006.

“Today, our economic fundamentals are sound, our banks are able to meet domestic credit needs, and we are capable of lending $1 billion from our international reserves to the IMF,” Tetangco said.

“This is a loan to the IMF and we will get our money back with interest. In effect, by extending a loan to the IMF that will earn money for the Philippines we are also able to help other nations saddled with financial problems. Other nations have also committed to help IMF address the current financial crisis,” he added.

The $1 billion the Philippines lent the IMF forms part of the $456 billion crisis fund that the lender secured from its member-nations to help insulate the global economy from any spillover from the euro zone’s financial difficulties.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Is Sex with the Dead a Major Problem in the Philippines?

Comment from a reader on Halloween sex: Doesn't the Philippine government have slightly more important things to be spending their time on than this? Or is it really a major problem here? What a bizarre place this is... Wow, Philippines? 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Philippines is Changing for the Worse

 Comment on Why Would Anyone Invest in Asia's Fastest Growing Economy?yes, change--- change for the worse. I readily acknowledge that...why do you trumpet the Bugle motto of "it is what it is" when you ignore all reality? That is editorial dishonesty, in my opinion...why don't you tell it like it actually IS? Last Sunday's editorial page on the PhilStar had many columns (per usual) on the horrible state of affairs with the Philippine economy--the sick man of Asia--yet you somehow and for some reason continue to engage in wishful thinking, happily ignoring the truth as acknowledged by experienced commentators who happen to be highly educated and concerned Filipino citizens lamenting the can post your statistics and juggle the math and whistle in the dark, rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, but the fact is that the rich are getting more rich and the poor are getting poorer...and the already too small middle class shrinking...and that doesn't even BEGIN to touch on the pork barrel scandal, a cancer that has metastasized at all level.

From the Bugle: Getting worse? We assume you are a newcomer to this country. If you were here in the 80s, when the country was racked by non-stop coup attempts, or the 90s when a series of corrupt governments dragged the economy to new lows you would realize it is better now and this isn't editorial dishonesty and it isn't this blog saying this. This is what the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Times, S&P, Moody's, and many others are saying. The Philippine Star is right to point out problems. (That's how newspapers work, they point out problems.) But the situation is improving in the Philippines. That's the facts, at least according to just about every international outfit looking at this country. But maybe the world's experts are wrong and you are right! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Credit Where Credit is Due: The US Military Did Help Out

39 US Marines and sailors helped clean out three Olongapo schools after the flood waters receded.

Flood cleanup grows Philippine, U.S. bond during PHIBLEX 14
III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Story by Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano

Date: 09.29.2013
Posted: 10.03.2013 05:46
News ID: 114647
3d MEB assists community in cleanup of flood-damaged schools

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines - No nation or community is immune to the hazards of severe weather, and unfortunately the community of Olongapo City, Zambales, Republic of the Philippines is no different.

Heavy rainfall from Typhoon Usagi flooded Olongapo streets, homes and schools with mud and debris during late September. The magnitude of the flooding caused the city’s council to declare Olongapo under a state of calamity.

Once the flood-waters receded, a group of 39 U.S. Marines and sailors volunteered their time to assist Olongapo police officers and community members as well as Philippine soldiers to clean three-flood damaged schools Sept. 29 during the Amphibious Landing Exercise 2014. The Philippine soldiers are with the Philippine Army Reserve Command. The Marines and sailors are with 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“This community relations project exemplifies the strong partnership and spirit of cooperation formed between the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces over our 63-year alliance,” said Col. John M. Peck, 3d MEB chief of staff.

PHIBLEX 14, a bilateral training exercise, is designed to improve Philippine-U.S. interoperability, increase readiness, and enhance the ability for a bilateral force to respond to natural disasters or other regional contingencies.

The team of Filipino and American volunteers assisted cleanup efforts at Santa Rita High School, Santa Rita Elementary and Olongapo City Elementary, according to Peck.

“Seeing Marines working side-by-side with our Filipino counterparts strengthens the bonds we've forged over the past, while at the same time providing some assistance to a community that has been such gracious hosts to us over the years,” said Peck.

The flooding disrupted the city as a whole and several schools closed for about a week due to the damage.

“It was a terrible feeling seeing our school destroyed,” said Josephine A. Abarro, the Santa Rita High School principal. “Our books, chairs, tables, computers and cabinets were damaged by the water, and the only thing that was really left was the building and some the students’ desks.”

The community members saw that not only is the Philippine government concerned for their community and country, but their American guests as well, according to Abarro.

“It is a good and safe feeling seeing the Filipino soldiers and U.S. Marines work together maintaining a good relationship with each other,” said Abarro.

The devastation left many community members without a home and clean water.

“Since the students reside close to the school, many of their homes were also destroyed by the flood and that’s why very few community members were able to help because they have their homes to take care of,” said Abarro.

While donations are appreciated, the actions of the group were worth more than money, according to Abarro.

“Money donations would not compare to the care that was demonstrated when we saw Filipinos and Americans working together helping our school,” said Abarro. “The first thing we will tell our students that is that (Filipinos and) Americans helped clean our school, so that (the students) can continue to grow to become educated civilians of the world.”

For some service members, this event marked the first time they worked side-by-side with another nation’s military to help a community in need. These Marines and sailors took pride in their laborious tasks, completing them as if they were assisting their own community.

“While this is my second time in the Philippines, this was the first time in my career doing any volunteer work with anyone beside Marines,” said Cpl. Ericka M. Schork, an administrative specialist with 3d MEB. “I took a lot of pride in helping out. There was a lot of mud, and we had only a few supplies and a little time to do this.”

“I grabbed handfuls of mud trying to clean the school faster because that’s what I would do if it was my community,” she added.

The disaster recovery did more than just clean up mud and debris, but enhanced friendship between the forces and the community.

“I enjoy helping out the community doing humanitarian work and felt (like) it fostered a lot of camaraderie,” said Schork.

While getting to know each other together, we accomplished what we set out to do and helped reopen the school so that the children could resume their education, added Schork.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Surprised by the Missing US Navy during the Floods

Comment from a reader on the post Where Was the US Military? 
I agree with the poster here. I'm American and I am all for increased U.S. presence here in Subic Bay for both the local economy and the fact, Philippines (and the rest of SE Asia) does need help with China. 

I was surprised to see no visible assistance from the US military when Olongapo was so hard hit. All during the previous week there was US soldiers in huge numbers everywhere walking around SBMA, Ayala mall, downtown, etc., more than I had seen in a long time, and then all of sudden they were gone right as the people of Olongapo could have really used their help.

I even found the following quote posted online:

OLONGAPO CITY – The city Monday (Sept 23) morning was placed under a state of calamity after 16 out of 17 barangay was under floodwaters due to heavy rain since Sunday, September 22. 
Olongapo City Councilor Winnie Ortiz said, “[The] city council declared [a] state of calamity thru phone. Unanimous decision. Mayor Rolen Paulino is coordinating with the US Ambassador Harry Thomas for the US Navy, currently in Subic for joint Philippine-US military exercises, to help in rescue and relief in Olongapo."

Well what happened to that assistance? This was a big missed opportunity for the US Navy to really help the Filipino people and make the anti-US militants in Manila look like jerks.
It would be great if someone could directly ask US Ambassador Harry Thomas why the US Navy didn't help the people of Olongapo? And if he replies how the US gave P4.3 million (US $100,000) in aid for the storm victims, that was a token gesture if I ever saw one. US $100K is pocket change for the US government and that's supposed to help all the storm victims in Philippines? The damage to Olongapo and Subic alone will be in the tens of millions of dollars.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More Bad News for the Philippines' Haters

While the US government has ground to a halt, and is on the verge of a credit default, due to political bickering...

“Moody’s Investor’s Service has upgraded the rating of the government of the Philippines by one notch from Ba1 to Baa3. At the same time, Moody’s has assigned a positive outlook to the rating. The factors that prompted the review remain intact, mainly, the sustainability of the country’s (1) robust economic performance; (2) ongoing fiscal and debt consolidation; and (3) political stability and improved governance.”
- Statement of Communications Secretary Ramon A. Carandang on Moody’s Investor’s Service rating upgrade of the government of the Philippines
Click here to read full statement.

“Our commitment to honest and responsible government, as well as our fundamental macroeconomic strengths—such as our structural current-account surplus, stable inflation, and low dependence on foreign debt—serve to differentiate us from other emerging markets that are resource- and export-dependent.”
- Statement of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima on Moody’s Investor’s Service rating upgrade of the government of the Philippines

Click here to read full statement.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The mayor & the congressman

The new mayor of Olongapo City hit the ground running trying to get a bankrupt municipality back on track. He was not on holiday when the floods struck but in Virginia Beach negotiating contracts with the US Navy. Deputy mayor Ceresos was left as active mayor. Rolan Paulino cut his US visit short to return to his damaged city. Since that time trucks and other vehicles have been moving equipment, food and clothes to victims.

You may have seen the trucks with his and newly elected Congressman Jeffrey Khongun names on the front. What makes this so extraordinary is that these two officials are working together. For over forty years the Gordons ran the city while the Magsaysays controlled Zambales province. Rather than work for the people they worked only to benefit  their clans.

Expats, foreigners and other visitors do not see some of the  horrific conditions of the poor buried deep and unseen in barangays and barrios. These are the people who were hit hardest and the people who are benefiting most from government help.

90% of Olongapo City flooded. Hopefully these two officials will use 'pork' and other resources to combat the wholly solvable problem of flooding in the area. Re-election and bigger and better things await politicans that do so.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where is the fresh water?

13 days after the Olongapo flood the areas of San Isidro, Santo Tomas, Matain and Santa Monica still have no water. There has been speculation, opinions and tsismis about the reason. The Bugle decided to visit the Subic Water District for answers. We were told by a manager that these areas are serviced by the Naugsel water pump station. The pipes from this line which in fact pass over the river were torn out by flood waters. Pumps were also damaged. These are currently being repaired and work will be completed and water return by "next week." Meanwhile water is being "rationed." By this he means big water trucks travel the affected areas pumping out tubig into resident's containers. He also stated that getting up in the middle of night to check for running water does no good. Trying to pump water out of lines does no good either since there is nothing to pump out.

Were the Americans Asked to Help?

Re: Where was the US Military? Hundreds were watching a movie? An entire ship's company? Did they fill the theater? Amazing, as I've never seen more than ten or 15 at a time at SM or Ayala This is pure hyperbole. The sub tender and missile carrier often in port are not aircraft carriers with large on board hospitals and messing facilities to assist flood victims. These ships may have had some vessels capable of going up swollen city river to help, but were they even asked by the mayor or local disaster officials? Suggest better research of the event before laying on the broadstrokes of blame. 

The Bugle: Good points but the question should be answered: The US and the Philippine government both have said repeatedly the the US military is increasing its presence in the country in part to assist in disaster response. Why weren't American resources deployed? Maybe they were not deployed because they were not invited but that is still an answer to the question (and something to keep in mind for the next flood). 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Where Was the Mayor of Olongapo?

Comment from a reader on Where Was the US Military? : The U.S. military cannot just jump in on its own in a sovereign country without the request of the host government. The USG and its taxpayers are the best there is for providing humanitarian assistance all over the world. The GOP is not known for rapid response. Where was the Mayor of Olongapo? The Philippine media broadcast that he was in America... doing what we will probably never know. Where was the Philippine military??? Over the years, the U.S. Government and the American people have provided millions if not billions of dollars in aid and humanitarian relief to the Philippines. Try getting one centavo from the pockets of corrupt politicians here. The ungrateful with hands and palms always cupped toward the heavens only continue to make fools of themselves. Stop U.S. aid and watch this place shrivel up and die. It looks as though it has already. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Perfect Storm

Comment from a reader on Flooding and Landslides Are Invevitable: Exactly correct; then add the Spring Tide caused by the New or Full Moon and that the surrounding large hills around Olongapo and Subic cause an Orographic lift when an air mass, SW Monsoon, is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it quickly cools down, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create heavy precipitation which drains to the bay straight through the city limits. I am a Meteorologist and I'm also staying at a Holiday Inn!