Mar
01
2010

Read the whole thing!

This past is littered with the detritus of contradictions, some of them very sad because they expose a dangerous fault in our character. Our loyalties circumscribed by ethnicity, family and ego obstruct the making of a nation. And this is what we still are this very day — Caviteños, Warays, Ilokanos — we are yet to be a nation. Our institutions of nationhood in themselves are hollow as evidenced in the corruption in the highest precincts of power, in our continuing poverty, not only the physical kind but the most damning of all — which is the poverty of the spirit.

In that tumultuous event in Tejeros, General Artemio Ricarte turned his back on his former leader. If Bonifacio was betrayed at Tejeros, Aguinaldo himself was, in turn, betrayed later on in Palanan when the Macabebe collaborators tricked him into his capture by the Americans.

This is all water under the bridge; now we must realize how our leaders today have betrayed us, too; they used the slogans of nationalism, the enduring ties of kinship, of patronage to assume power and colonize us.

Aside from these painful contradictions, our past also informs us how empty our country is of the hoary civilizations of Asia, the great temples, the classical arts and particularly literature, which our part of the world has in abundance.

Must we then, particularly those of us who write, feel inferior to our neighbors with their ancient cultural achievements, their great pre-colonial art?

via To the young writers of Cavite – HINDSIGHT By F Sionil Jose | The Philippine Star >> Lifestyle Features >> Arts and Culture.

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Feb
28
2010

Got this link from Chuck. I agree that my BS detector is calling this a gimmick but, In my view anything that helps promote art, especially to people who otherwise wouldn’t know or go to that event is great for me.

THE ART OF SHAQ

Does size matter? For Shaquille O’Neal his very existence offers a larger-than-life answer to that question. Standing at 7’1”, weighing 320 pounds and strutting about in size 22 shoes, Shaq casts a long shadow. His appetites and ambitions are similarly colossal: a professional basketball star, he has also worked as an actor, rapper, memoirist and reserve police officer, and is now working on a PhD in organisational behaviour. Now, thanks to the FLAG Art Foundation in New York, Shaq can cross another item off his to-do list: curate an art show. “Size DOES Matter” features 66 works chosen by the man himself, and a catalogue with an essay by James Frey (yes, that James Frey).

An outsized gimmick? Perhaps. The line to attend the show’s opening on February 19th snaked outside for nearly a block. And Shaq’s selections, which feature a range of contemporary works of varying, eye-teasing sizes, were plucked from more than 200 images supplied by FLAG’s founder, Glenn Fuhrman, and director, Stephanie Roach, over dinner after a game. Still, this playful show holds up as a satisfying examination of size and scale in art.

via THE ART OF SHAQ | More Intelligent Life.

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Feb
28
2010

I’ve been giving MJ the benefit of a doubt because he was always more of the controlling type, and not having complete control is something that colored my judgment of his past decisions. I hope he shines in being an NBA owner.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — He has been called the NBA’s greatest player and one of the country’s top pitchmen.

Now Michael Jordan is ready for a new title: NBA owner.

With minutes to go until his exclusive negotiating window was to expire, Jordan struck a deal late Friday night to buy controlling interest of the Charlotte Bobcats, putting the six-time NBA champion in charge of the money-losing team in his home state.

Owner Bob Johnson announced in a statement that he’s agreed to sell the Bobcats to Jordan, who been a part-owner of since 2006. Jordan has been running the team’s basketball operations.

via Michael Jordan reaches agreement to buy Charlotte Bobcats – NBA – SI.com.

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Feb
25
2010

Pinay designer wins UK fashion award

By Grace Velasco (The Philippine Star) Updated February 26, 2010 12:00 AM

Photo is loading…

Filipino designer Mich Dulce is shown with one of her hats, which uses local Philippine materials, making her win the British Council’s Young Fashion Entrepreneur Award.

LONDON – From a tropical country where few people wear hats, a Filipino fashion designer and milliner, actress and musician has won the British Council’s Young Fashion Entrepreneur (YFE) Award for 2010.

Mich Dulce bested 10 competitors from Bangladesh, India, Libya, Lithuania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria and Turkey to become the first Filipino to be honored with the prize.

via Pinay designer wins UK fashion award | The Philippine Star >> News >> News Feature.

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Feb
25
2010

In a discussion of insurance market reforms, President Obama asks Republican Senator John Kyl to move away from talking points and focus on finding common areas of agreement. The President responds to Kyl: “Any time the question is phrased as ‘Does Washington know better?’ I think we’re kind of tipping the scales a little bit there, since we all know that everybody is angry at Washington right now it’s a good talking point, but it doesn’t actually answer the underlying question, which is do we want to make sure that people have a baseline of protection?’”

angol here: I believe that what’s mostly said in Presidential forums can be classified as ”

“It’s a good talking point, but it doesn’t actually answer the underlying question”

0 Comments
Feb
25
2010

I can guess that we probably have a high coverage rate in the Philippines. This is because unlike the US in the Philippines if you have work you have PhilHealth,SSS and GSIS. This leaves two groups of people out. The rich people who don’t “work” (own business , etc), and the very poor who can’t but it. Of the rich, they obviously have cash to burn but I suspect if in the USA one of the major causes of bankruptcy is medical emergency/conditions then the rich of the Philippines may not have it any much better. The poorest of the poor have healthcare if they live in Makati and Muntinlupa and during elections government officials such as the soon to be former president distribute PhilHealth Cards.

What I’m trying to say is that during the happy moments that my mind wanders towards the Philippine Government I see PhilHealth, SSS and GSIS, without the same kind of fight that the US encountered in trying to enact them. What I see is a Davao where I saw less people smoking because of too many restrictions (that I agree with). What I see is a Makati where Jejomar Binay is showing the Philippines what can be done by the local government for it’s constituents. What I see is a President (GMA) who has shown just how powerful the presidency can be with the right incentives.  We have a people whose trying to learn about the candidates.  We have the BIR harrassing Shell which shows we aren’t as controlled by corporations as the US (Although I don’t agree with what they are doing, this is almost extortion).

There is hope. The Philippines is not that far away from where it could be!!!

0 Comments
Feb
25
2010

Senator Tom Harkin reminded those at the meeting that while it’s easy to get caught up in the debate over numbers and policy details, it’s ultimately about making progress to help ordinary folks across the country struggling under today’s broken system. Senator Harkin said, “I keep thinking we have got to bring it back home to what this is all about. We all have our stories. I got a letter yesterday from a farmer in Iowa that really encapsulates it. [He said] ‘I’m a 57-year-old Iowa farmer. I’m writing to voice my concern regarding my family’s rapidly escalating health care costs. On Saturday, February 20th, I received a noticeinforming me that our health insurance premium will be increasing $193.90 per month to a monthly total of $1,516.20. This is a 14.6% increase.’”

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Feb
25
2010

pointer from here: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2010/02/25/what-you-see-is-what-they-buy/

this is nice , hope we advance enough to be able to do this!! Manny Villar (Vista Land) ,  Noynoy Aquino (ABS-CBN, Ayala Group of Companies), Gilbert Teodoro  (Government???), Eddie Villanueva ( His followers?) , Jamby (Meron ba?)

0 Comments
Feb
25
2010

People who follow the politics in the USA knows host stupid the people in the system can be.

I’m watching Citizen Tube here http://www.youtube.com/citizentube?feature=ticker on the Healthcare summit. I’m seriously envious of them right now. When we have senators who are hitting each other with personal snide remarks. When most of the questions that are being asked in Presidential forums are not up to snuff, Simply put I have no Idea who has the policy-fu down pat. Who knows basic economics, basic public policy etc. Damn. and you have self styled pundit who really know nothing.

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Feb
25
2010

Excellent read. This was a letter written by Yunus defending his bank on accusations of below board practices. Loved reading this.

A Counter-Culture

Grameen had to create a banking counter-culture of its own. Grameen's central focus is to help poor borrower move out of poverty, not making money. Making profit is always recognised as a necessary condition of success to show that we are covering costs. Volume of profit is not important in Grameen in money-making sense, but important as an indicator of efficiency. We would like to make more profit so that we can reduce interest rate — and pass on the benefits to the borrowers. In Grameen system when a borrower cannot pay back we try to activate our system to help her overcome her problems, rather than go in a punishing mode.

We consider credit as a human right. We built our system on the faith that the poor always pay back. Some times they take longer than the originally scheduled time period, sometimes natural disasters like flood, drought, cyclone, etc and political unrest, rules and procedures of the bank, make it difficult or impossible to pay back; but given the opportunity they pay back. Non-repayment is not a problem created by the borrowers, it is created by factors external to them.

We have always carefully avoided the practices of the conventional banks to make sure we do not fall into the same logical loop which kept the poor out from financial institutions. Grameen had to create new systems to balance financial and human considerations. For example, it presents loan information separately for women and men, lists meticulously every single business of the borrowers in its annual report, and recognizes that a house is not just a house, but a workplace for the poor women, something that is categorised as a 'consumption' loan by the conventional banks is actually a 'production' loan for the poor. Grameen is a system based on human-relationships, not on threats of penalty imposed by legal system or any other agency. Grameen required new style of business, new banking culture of its own.

Sometimes people who are used to conventional banking become suspicious of Grameen because it is different. It is a conflict of two different banking cultures. Just because they do not understand us, they think we are wrong. When they spend some time with us with patience they start enjoying the exciting world of Grameen banking.

via Grameen Bank – Response to Wall Street Journal article.

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