Hello world!

papa2I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you.

Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated.

We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site.

Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship.

Thank you.

Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados.

Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio.

Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad.

Gracias.

Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

The Aquino-Marcos estrangement is about lack of remorse

President Benigno Aquino and Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos

President Benigno Aquino and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos

I cannot help but make my own assessment about the Aquino-Marcos estrangement, this after Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. reportedly issued a statement, saying, it is high time to put an end to the decades-old feud between the Aquino and Marcos families.

President Benigno Aquino, on the other hand, through his Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., contradicted the Marcos statement, explaining, that the disaffection between them is not about family issues, but rather a result of an injustice by the despot Marcos against the Filipino people during the latter’s Martial Law regime.

Obviously, these are perceptions according to what suits best their sentiment without really admitting candidly what happened in the past that created a schism between them to this day.

With your indulgence, I am reprinting below the Marcos statement, as published, if only to show how scheming, but tactical, the person is in his reasoning.

“That’s something that would be good for the country. Kasi alam naman natin itong away na ito na hanggang ngayon ay tuluy-tuloy pa. Ito’y sagabal sa pagkakaisa dito sa bansa. Kailangan we have to get past it…put it behind us. Ang daming kailangang gawin,” he said.

(That’s something that would be good for the country. We all know that this feud continues up to now. This prevents us from uniting the country. We have to get past it…put it behind us. There are so many things we need to do.)

“I mean siguro sa pamilya Marcos, wala na ‘yung political fight na yan. Hindi naman ito personal. ‘Yung talagang naglalaban was my father and Ninoy Aquino, ‘60s, ‘70s pa ‘yun so dapat lampasan na natin ‘yun at hindi na ‘yan ang issue ngayon. Wala tayong makukuha sa tuluy-tuloy na pagsusumbatan na Aquino-Marcos for no good reason. We’ll get nothing out of that,” Marcos said.

(I mean, for the Marcos family, this political feud is already over. It’s not personal. It was only my father and Ninoy Aquino who fought in the ‘60s and ‘70s so we should get past it already and stop making an issue out of it. We won’t gain anything from continuing to revive the Aquino-Marcos feud for no reason. We’ll get nothing out of that.)

Marcos seems to be putting everything here in the context of politics and nothing whatsoever about the events and succeeding grim consequences of the dark days of the Martial Law.

What is even worse is that, while Marcos wants the country to move on, there is not even a slight trace of remorse from him, nor from any of his family, who are mainly back in the country’s political mainstream, about his father’s atrocious regime.

While the Aquinos may no longer find justice for their martyred father, Ninoy, President Aquino, however, has not lost sight in his quest for justice for the human rights victims during the Martial Law years and even going to the extent of trying to recover the Marcoses alleged ill-gotten wealth. It is the least that he can do now until his term ends in 2016.

Hopefully the Filipino people will come to realize who the Marcoses are really and why they are back in politics, with Imelda, a congresswoman from Ilocos Norte, not mincing words that she wants her son, Sen. Marcos, to run for president.

But for the Marcoses not to show any remorse and who continue believing that the despot Marcos patriarch did not do any wrong is a wedge that will forever alienate the Aquinos.

It should also be a wedge making the Filipino people beware of the emerging power-hungry new Marcos generation, thus, repudiating them in any political exercise in this country.

Their stay in politics is mainly to serve themselves and their individual interests, all at the expense of the Filipino people.

Mystery of China’s Terra Cotta army unraveled

cotta1We all have heard about the mystifying archaeological discovery that happened in 1974 when a group of farmers attempting to a dig a well near the ancient capital city of Chang’an in what is today the Shaanxi Province, near the modern city of Xi’an, China, incredibly found instead what is now known as the tomb of the Terra Cotta Army in a vast underground city.

The “army” is made up of around 7,000 lifelike clay soldiers and included clay replicas of horses, chariots, bowmen, archers and all their attendant armor and weaponry that were said to be created in 246 B.C. by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, to protect him in his journey after death.

According to historical records, the emperor had an army of one million professional soldiers built, and was the one who initiated construction of the Great Wall of China.

Arranged in battle formation in pits near the emperor’s tomb, the clay army stood watch for more than 2,000 years, until the discovery in 1974.

Since then, archaeologists have puzzled over how ancient artisans produced the estimated 7,000 lifelike clay soldiers, right down to their stylish goatees and plaits of braided hair.

But, not anymore, and only because of the difference in the shape of the “soldiers” left ears.

Slowly, archaeologists have learned the secrets of the amazing clay statues, including how they were painted, but were still puzzled by how their realistic features were created. Now, after creating 3D models of the warriors using new imaging technology, the archaeologists from the University College London and Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum have found the statues were perhaps modeled after real soldiers rather than given standard-issue noses, ears, and mouths “via a sort of Mr. Potato Head strategy,” explains archaeologist Andrew Brevan.

Their ears offered up the greatest clue: Ears vary so much among humans that they’re “as effective as a fingerprint” in terms of identification, he says.

(For more on this interesting solution to the puzzle about why the different looks of the terra cotta warriors, please go to this link: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141114-terra-cotta-warriors-qin-shi-huang-tomb-china-archaeology/)

Insensitivity and not breach of protocol in the visit to Caballo Island

Military and health officials mingling with the quarantined soldiers in Caballo Island.

Military and health officials mingling with the quarantined soldiers in Caballo Island.

I understand the concern expressed by the Philippine College of Physicians when they criticized the visit made by ranking military and health officials to Caballo Islands where the peacekeepers from the Ebola-stricken Liberia are supposed to be under 21-day quarantine as a safety precaution against the deadly virus.

What made it doubly controversial is that said officials went to meet the purposely isolated soldiers without even a trace of protective garment on them. In fact AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. was even seen elbow-bumping with the soldiers, in lieu of the handshake, in greeting them.

Now, was the visit a breach of protocol?

Yes, there was a soldier that was running a temperature and was immediately airlifted to an Ebola-equip treatment facility but was found to be suffering from malaria and none of the symptoms of the virus.

Symptom is actually the key word here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has enumerated the following as signs and symptoms of Ebola: fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain and unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising). Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

The soldiers may have come from Liberia, but the fact alone that none has shown symptoms of the deadly virus from the time they were waiting for a plane ride back to the Philippines until today, even if the 21-day period has not elapsed yet, only shows that none has been infected.

According to CDC, Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only a few species of mammals (e.g., humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients.

The same cannot be said, however, of our soldiers, even while assigned in Liberia as peacekeepers, but to be quarantined is one important protocol to be followed especially when preventing the eruption of a virulent disease.

Aware and confident that the soldiers are all doing well up to this time is what made the military and health officials decide to visit them in Caballo Island, if only to assure them that the government is at their service for their health and welfare and not shunning them.

I don’t see, therefore, any breach of protocol, which led comedian-cum-senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto to ridiculously recommend that Catapang, DOH Acting Secretary Janette Garin and party be placed also under quarantine.

But by their insensitivity and self-serving photo ops, however, the visiting officials were doing an injustice to the family of the soldiers, who, having missed them for a long time and more anxious of their well-being, should have been given the highest prerogative to see and hug them first, but for the quarantine imposed.

It would have been more appropriate if the government officials should just have waited for the lapse of the 21-day quarantine after which they should bring the soldiers to the waiting arms of their love ones for a reunion anxiously longed for.

 

Sickly-looking accused plunderers are sickening to the people

Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile: Happy and healthy before the arrest.

Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile: Happy, strong and healthy before the arrest.

It really pays to be a senator of the realm even if you have demeaned yourself by being brought to court for allegedly perverting the countries money that otherwise would have been used in uplifting the lives of the poor Filipinos.

Compared to the lesser crimes committed by some prisoners who continue to languish in jail without any special consideration, those of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla, who are accused of plunder and corrupt practices, ranks high up there in seriousness and gravity, more so that they are public servants.

But, fairness is not what life is all about, and our justice system operates not exactly on the level. Rank and position almost always carry weight that results to an uneven keel among those accused of a crime.

Thus, we see now Enrile, who, at 90, is under hospital arrest to make sure he gets attended to with dispatch in case any of his health issues become a threat to his life.

For humanitarian reasons, action star Revilla, who is detained at the PNP Custodial Center, was granted by the graft court – the Sandiganbayan – for an overnight checkup at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City, upon recommendation of his doctors, for his migraine, hypertension, lumbar radiculopathy secondary to spondylosis or back pain, dyslipidemia or imbalance of fats, and God knows what else.

Now comes Estrada, another macho-portraying actor-detainee at the center, asking the court’s permission for him to have thrice-a-week therapy session for his shoulder pains after having been recommended by his doctors to undergo a therapy program coupled with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the left shoulder. Estrada is said to be also suffering from mild bulging of the cervical spine and adhesive capsulitis.

Most likely, because of a precedent set in the case of Revilla, Estrada will also be allowed to go to sick bay.

Before the senator’s unscrupulousness were uncovered, they were all happy, strong and healthy and like others say, fit as a fiddle, and even when they were warned of their pending arrest, they were arrogantly bragging that they were ready because the truth will set them free anyway.

Now, these alleged plunderers appear to be sickly.

Sickly?

Perhaps, inside the center, yes, but once outside Revilla readily transforms himself into an actor by smiling and waving at his fans.

I am sure the same will happen to the infirm-looking Estrada when his time to visit the hospital of his choice comes.

This is what is sickening to the people and if this is not a mockery of justice, I do not know what is.

All corruption allegation against government officials are urgent

President Benigno Aquino with Health Secretary Enrique Ona

President Benigno Aquino with Health Secretary Enrique Ona

President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) is starting to confuse me now.

For somebody strongly advocating and often chanting the ‘Tuwid na daan’ (straight path) mantra in his administration, I find the way PNoy is qualifying corruption allegation against his people conflicting, disturbing and frustrating.

Take for instance the case of Health Secretary Enrique Ona whom PNoy asked to go on leave while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was tasked by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to look into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of anti-pneumonia vaccines in 2012 that also involved his assistant, the dancing Eric Tayag. The reason given by PNoy is so Ona will have ample time to answer questions about the alleged anomaly.

De Lima said the investigation stemmed from a complaint filed directly in the Office of the President (OP) by the National Center for Pharmaceutical Access and Management, the Formulatory Executive Council and the World Health Organization (WHO) over the “inexplicable” change in the type of vaccine purchased.

Instead of buying the more cost effective and widely applicable Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) 13, as recommended, the Department of Health opted to buy PCV 10 which is said to have limited disease coverage.

PNoy then explained that the Department of Health’s P833-million purchase of pneumonia vaccines involving Ona posed an immediate danger to the public than the P700-million Iloilo Convention Center involving Drilon, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez and Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, thus, the urgency of the probe.

I would presume that the same reasoning is applied also in the corruption case against Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima.

But, why make a distinction between them that one – the Ona case – is more urgent than the others?

Is public safety not an urgent matter?

What I am saying is that allegations of corrupt practices in government should be treated the same way – without fear or favor – because after all this is about good governance that falls under the purview of the ‘Tuwid na daan’ slogan that PNoy is seemingly pursuing to the hilt.

In fact the right thing to do, except for Drilon, who belongs to a different branch of government, is for Ona and Purisima to go on leave and reinstate them only (that is if they can wait) if and when the probe against their corrupt practices find them clean and innocent beyond any doubt.

If I may go farther, if PNoy wants the Filipinos to believe in his good intentions, then it is time for him to let go of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who, as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and as presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) affairs, is a cabinet member with the most tarnished reputation.

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi fails on the plight of the Rohingyas

President Barack Obama and Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

President Barack Obama and Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

I am writing about the Rohingyas once again because not only do this Muslim minority continue to suffer from oppression, persecution and discrimination, but it has also been an issue, among other things, raised by U.S. President Barack Obama during the latter’s recent visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, to attend the annual summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Sometime in the early part of 2009 I wrote about the ill-starred Rohingyas. To give you a better insight about this people please open this link: http://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/the-plight-of-the-rohingyas/.

Five years after, and with each winning the Nobel Peace Prize in between, Obama and Myanmar’s famed activist-turned politician opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi meet again where the former called for the nation to end the discrimination against the Rohingya people, urging in his strongest comments on the persecuted Muslim minority that the government grant them equal rights.

“Discrimination against a Rohingya or any other religious minority, I think, does not express the kind of country that Burma over the long term wants to be,” Obama said.

Prejudice against the minority group is widespread in Myanmar and many people refer to them as Bengali, a term suggesting they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite having lived in the area for generations.

The Rohingyas

The Rohingyas

Most of Myanmar’s 1.1 million ethnic Rohingya Muslims are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state in the west of the predominantly Buddhist country. Almost 140,000 are in camps after being displaced in clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012.

What is ironic about the Rohingyas who have suffered violence at the hands of Buddhist mobs and are trapped in dismal camps is that even Suu Kyi has failed in saving them from their hapless plight.

Suffice to say that to this day the Rohingyas do not have concerned and real defenders of their plight and to think that Suu Kyi herself is a victim of human rights abuse.

So far Suu Kyi has only urged Myanmar’s people “to learn to live in harmony” but has even refrained from naming any specific group that has been the subject of ethnic cleansing in her own country.

From one who has suffered tremendous pain as a citizen, a wife and a mother, and clearly a victim of human rights by an abusive regime, Suu Kyi is deemed to understand more the plight of the Rohingyas. But instead she has shown nothing but indifference.

This brings me to the question: Does Suu Kyi really deserves to be called a Nobel Peace laureate?

A talented photographer

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I am sharing this post to inspire those young, aspiring photographers, and even those who are taking photography as a hobby, to be the best in what they love doing. Also, this is for those who appreciate beauty and reality of its subject in photography.

The pictures that you are about to see are those of Carlos Perez Naval, a 9-year-old talented photographer, who was declared one of the winners at this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Surely, Naval has the potential and a promising career ahead of him of being the best in his craft especially when it comes to subjects of wildlife and their exotic habitats.

Among young Naval’s portfolio of work, the last photo is his winning entry.

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