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

Crossing fingers for LP dilemma

cross fingersIf the ruling Liberal Party (LP) wants to maintain its leadership in 2016 and beyond, it better start getting their act in sync now or all will be lost to the opposition.

There is no doubt we are seeing more work and favorable results for the country with President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) at the helm and we would like to see it sustained even after his term.

Whether we call it progress or good governance, the fact is we need a leader in the mold of PNoy – honest, diligent and committed to his work – to succeed him in continuing the development of the country making it respectable in the eyes of the international community.

Never mind his being vengeful and bullheaded sometimes for a long as he has the interest of the nation foremost in mind.

The question now is: Does the LP have in its rank somebody to fill in the shoes of PNoy?

Yes, perhaps out of courtesy, the name of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas is always mentioned. One has to remember that Roxas sacrificed his presidential ambition in 2010 in favor of PNoy whose popularity as presidential timber surged after the death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino. He became PNoy’s running mate instead, but ultimately lost to Jejomar Binay.

This is where the LP dilemma starts.

Roxas may be the most qualified among the aspirants mentioned now, but that loss to Binay has tainted his personality and to this day has stuck like a bad omen in him that even in presidential surveys, he is lagging poorly. And what is even more degrading is that Binay continues to lead the surveys by a wide margin.

If Roxas could not be half as good as the late Jesse Robredo as Interior Secretary, especially with the way he responded to the immediate post-Yolanda devastation, which is a yoke he is carrying to this day, could he be half as good as PNoy?

There is not only doubt in Roxas’ winnability, but there also exist doubt in his capability as PNoy’s competent successor. And there is even no mention yet if his wife, the outspoken Korina Sanchez, is an added weight to the yoke he is already carrying.

Could this be the reason why PNoy continues to float trial balloons to feel the pulse of the public whether or not the general assessment is for him to run for a second term?

But of course PNoy will not do that. He has enough sense in his head not to appear as heel in the family where their parents are considered heroes in their own rights. Besides, who really wants to be harshly judged by history?

And so the LP dilemma continues.

Some politician says that whoever PNoy anoints and supports will have the advantage and certain to win. This may be true for others except Roxas whose standing in the poll surveys define how he is regarded by many Filipinos.

Is Binay still considered unbeatable? Well, the way Senators Peter Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes has exposed Binay from being a boy scout and reliable to being untrustworthy and corrupt in the Senate blue ribbon committee probing the Makati building anomaly, leaves also some doubts in people’s mind if the man is for real and apt for the presidency.

Binay has to refute the allegations that he has received kickbacks from contractors and prove beyond any reasonable doubt that his hands are clean. Until then, his credibility will always be in question.

Binay should remember Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Binay’s close association with the Estradas, Joseph and Jinggoy, only adds negativity to his candidacy for president.

The LP dilemma could only be solved if there was an alliance of parties and PNoy should be open to that for the interest of country.

What it will take is for the other party to accept and agree to continue PNoy’s reform agenda.

So, who should PNoy put his trust on?

Santiago? Cayetano? Trillanes? Escudero? Poe? A corporate CEO?

Your guess is just as good as mine.

We can only cross our fingers and hope for the best.

‘Piecemeal’ Third World War

Pope Francis laying wreath at Italy's largest war memorial.

Pope Francis laying wreath at Italy’s largest war memorial.

A nuclear war may be an apt description of what World War III is going to be in this day and age.

And the likelihood of it happening, God forbids, is if the US and the EU won’t be able to contain and convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that restoring the Soviet Union by force is not only anathema to its former member countries, but also detrimental to the peace and security of the whole world today.

The world will be more appreciative of the Russian president and will be a highly regarded leader and statesman if only he comes around from his narcissistic views and join the Western world leaders in determinedly and decisively putting an end to the chaotic world we are witnessing now, which Pope Francis appropriately described instead as ‘piecemeal’ Third World War.

“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.

The mayhem, destruction and death that World War II wrought upon in some parts of the world has lost its impact, as global conflicts are on the rise making the world increasingly dangerous and unpredictable, as we know it.

Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and parts of Africa. Thank goodness peace is holding up between the Israelis and the Palestinians in Gaza.

Francis described the flurry of conflicts around the globe today as nothing but a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.

“War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying,” he said. “Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology …,” he said.

That is what is sickening when a group of terrorists killing innocent people and forcing others, especially children and the elders, to suffer in the name of religion.

A UN High Commissioner for Refugees made this statement sometime ago, saying: “Today, we no longer live in a unipolar world. We live in a kind of chaotic world, there’s no global governance system and power relations became unclear. There are very limited capabilities for nations to solve crises, like in Syria, and the capability to address the needs of people becomes more difficult.”

If only Putin sided with the Western leaders in toppling the dictatorship of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad a few years back, the world would not have come to witness the birth and barbarism of the militant jihadist group called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), and there would have been one less brutal ‘piecemeal’ war in this part of the world.

A senior moment episode

senior momentsWhile we can still laugh at it, we might as well do it, realizing that sooner or later the joke will be on us. In fact I had been experiencing ‘mental glitches’ that I find sometimes incredibly amusing. But what I am sharing with you here is something more serious for this age-denying couple.

This story bearing the title ‘Forget – me – nots’ was submitted by Lisa Barnes to the Readers Digest’s ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ section, August 2014 issue.

At 86 and 84 years of age, John and Susan notice they’re beginning to forget little things, so they decide to visit the doctor. “Many people find it useful to write themselves little notes,” says the doctor. “Why don’t you try that?”
After dinner that night, Susan turns to John: “Be a dear, won’t you, and get me a dish of ice-cream from the kitchen …and maybe write that down so you won’t forget?”
“Piffle,” says John. “I can remember a dish of ice-cream.”
“Well,” says Susan. “I’d also like some strawberries and whipped cream on it.”
“My memory’s not all that bad,” says John. “Dish of ice-cream. Strawberries. Whipped cream. I don’t need to write it down.” And with that, he disappears into the kitchen.
After some time, during which Susan hears pots and pans banging around, John finally re-emerges with a plate of bacon and eggs, which he duly presents to his wife.
Susan looks at the plate and says, “Hey, where’s the toast I asked for?”

ARMM Governor makes more sense than Sen. Marcos

The draft BBL presented by President Aquino and MILF's Mohagher Iqbal to Senate President Franklin  Drilon and Speaker of the House Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

The draft BBL presented by President Aquino and MILF’s Mohagher Iqbal to Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker of the House Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

After long and tortuous negotiations over finding lasting peace and stability in war-torn Mindanao, finally President Benigno Aquino submitted to Congress leaders the draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The BBL has been described as the product of 17 years of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Drafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, led by its chair Mohagher Iqbal of the MILF and government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, copies of the 122-page document shall now undergo deliberation in Congress.

Both, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker of the House Feliciano Belmonte Jr., have committed to work on it fast so it could be passed and signed into law by President Aquino and a plebiscite can be conducted in the envisioned core territory of the Bangsamoro to ratify the new government that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by 2016.

Indeed, this is a pleasant development long desired by every peace-loving Filipinos, more especially those coming from Mindanao, both Christians and Muslims, except, perhaps, to one of the many splintered factions from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) whose members continue to be mesmerized at their renegade leader, Nur Misuari.

Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos

It is in this context that I am expressing my disgust at Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his stupid suggestion, as chairman of the Senate committee on local government, that the warrant for Misuari’s arrest be suspended so he could attend the public hearings on the proposed BBL.

“We are thinking about allowing a suspension of that to allow Chairman Nur Misuari to come and speak and give us his idea because if you remember the Zamboanga uprising was precisely a product of the MNLF feeling that they were left out of the process.”

How moronic, insensible and irresponsible can Marcos be when it is because of the utter death, destruction and dislocation of people caused by Misuari and his faction during last year’s siege of Zamboanga City, that the traitorous and egocentric leader should be excluded as a resource person in passing the BBL.

As if defying authority and taking matters into his own hands by viciously storming Zamboanga by force is not treasonous enough, now comes Marcos acknowledging and still giving Misuari importance instead of tracking him down and bringing him to justice.

All Marcos has to remember is that Misuari is no longer the sole and recognized leader of the MNLF. While the other disgruntled MNLF factions maybe invited to public hearings, either in Congress or in Mindanao, the same cannot be said of Misuari and his band of terrorists who continue to run away from the law after committing their heinous crimes in Zamboanga.

Incumbent Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman made a more sensible statement when he said, “I think the MNLF and not Misuari should be consulted. Because Misuari is not equivalent to MNLF or MNLF is equivalent to Misuari”.

“What is important here is not the organization but the people,” he added.

Hataman explained that the not everyone residing in the Bangsamoro region are members of the MNLF or the MILF.

“There are still more ordinary citizens and they are Bangsamoro and also Muslim,” he said.

Under the BBL, Bangsamoro people are defined as original inhabitants of the Mindanao and Sulu archipelago, and adjacent islands, as well as their descendants and the families of their spouses.

Hataman pointed out that whatever the new structure will be, what is important is that the Bangsamoro will be able to address the needs of the people.

Surely, Marcos can learn more from Hataman who is simply articulating the most basic of human values and common sense.

Lastly, I urge Marcos to read and be enlightened more about Misuari from this link: http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/38884-misuari-myths-mnlf.

Miriam and her choices for vice president

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

From the looks of it Senator Miriam DefensorSantiago’s desire to run for the presidency in 2016 is certain, but with a caveat, and that is if her health permits.

Between now and the time she gave herself to decide whether to run or not, which is the end of the year, is not really much time for her lung cancer to heal. But even if she is getting better, what she needs is rest and, surely, the election season won’t spare her the rigors of getting herself and her team elected.

How I wish a miracle would happen and she will regain back her robustness and energy sooner than later so her presidential ambition will not go to naught.

Miriam’s choices for vice president, if only blessed by good health, only shows her selfless concern for the country and the Filipino people.

She mentioned the names of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Senator Grace Poe.

These are individuals with diverse personalities, but what one notices immediately about them is that none is tainted by corrupt practices. On the contrary, they are their own personage, each showing his/her individual charm and competence that is worthy of the position.

Miriam showed her preference for Duterte, whose psyche approximates that of Miriam in more ways than one, but, unfortunately, has declined the offer to be her running mate.

For the sake of the country, how I wish Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro would come out in the open and declare himself available and willing to be Miriam’s vice presidential candidate.

Even Duterte endorsed Gibo saying that his “capabilities are beyond issue”.

These are different times now and the people are more aware that the likes of Gibo, young and brilliant, is what is needed to sustain the direction the country has taken and the kind of leader that the world community can trust.

Gibo was once a presidential candidate and can go for it again should Miriam declare herself unfit to run.

Now, where does this leave Sen. Poe?

Well, Poe is new and while she looks decent and able, she needs more experience.

Her potential is noticeable and her time will come.

But not now while she is very much identified with the actors Estradas, one of which is in police custody accused of corruption and plunder.

Let the case at the Sandiganbayan be finished first before she starts eying for the higher office so she won’t be accused of helping free Jinggoy and another actor Bong Revilla, both good friends of her late father, Fernando Poe Jr.

The act of helping, which could not be avoided, would only destroy her credibility.

Sodium consumption found to be high among children

salt1This study, while it talks about US children aged six to 18 consuming more than the recommended amount of sodium (in the form of salt), might as well be a warning to Filipino children too.

According to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of the children between these ages eat an average of about 3,300 mg of sodium a day even before salt is added at the table. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children eat less than 2,300 mg per day.

CDC researchers also found that approximately 65 percent of sodium comes from store foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurant foods, and 9 percent from school cafeteria foods.

Based on data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the CDC noted that about 43 percent of sodium eaten by children comes from 10 foods including cold cuts, cured meats and chicken products like nuggets and tenders.

Having worked in a meat processing plant before, I can only agree to this study.

The CDC recommends that parents tackle the problem by giving their children a diet high in fruits and vegetables without added sodium. Schools and school districts can offer students lower-sodium options in vending machines, school stores and cafeterias.

While changing low-salt diet can easily be made in rich countries, the same cannot be said in third world countries where salted food, almost always, is present on the table as its main dish or, in some cases, to augment what little variety they have for meal. Fruits have become a luxury.

Unless the quality of life improves, the children of poor families will always inherently suffer the highest risk of contracting illnesses related to high intake of sodium in later years.

Exceptions are those belonging to the higher socioeconomic sector of society who can afford to go shopping all the time and eat out in restaurants more often. The study is more applicable to this sector.

What this study is simply saying is that nearly 9 in 10 US children eat more sodium than recommended, and about 1 in 6 children has raised blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Lowering sodium in children’s diets today can help prevent heart disease tomorrow.

Vice presidential trial balloon bursts in Binay’s face

Businessman Manny Pangilinan and Vice President Jejomar Binay

Businessman Manny Pangilinan and Vice President Jejomar Binay

Beleaguered Vice President Jejomar Binay tried floating a vice presidential trial balloon, in the person of businessman Manny Pangilinan, in the hope that that it will generate enthusiasm and excitement among Filipinos for them to start clamoring for it.

But even before the populace could have their say about the Binay-Pangilinan tandem for the 2016 presidential election, it was Pangilinan himself who pricked and burst the balloon.

Simply said, it was bait that Binay threw to help sustain his lead in the presidential surveys, but the shrewd businessman in Pangilinan knew better than to bite and get himself involve in politics.

It would have been a formidable tandem, as some politicians described it, and rightly so, considering what the experience, knowledge and skills the top Philippine CEO could impart to government.

But that is speaking only of Pangilinan.

So does this mean that not being able to team up with Pangilinan is a set back for Binay?

I would like to think it is and not until Binay gets cleared from the building construction corruption mess that he supposedly started in Makati will he find himself acceptable and once more having the moral ascendancy to lead the country.

Absolving himself from any anomaly that is as serious as that of which Binay is accused of in Makati is important not only for his candidacy, but likewise for the person he chooses to be his running mate.

Had Pangilinan accepted the offer from Binay to become the latter’s running mate, Pangilinan would have deodorized Binay’s political stink and, perhaps, the people could have gone along with it knowing that with Pangilinan in government the country would be in good hands.

Alas, Binay continues to stink badly and the people are aware that if he chooses another rotten politician as his running mate, that it will only put the country back into the deep hole where we find ourselves starting to climb out only now.

For Binay to save himself from political destruction, he should not only fight for his vindication but should continue looking for a sweet smelling, competent and desirous running mate – yet again.