Cheats cheats cheats

BlacksheepwallShowmethemoney

If only these Starcraft cheats could be used in real life, specifically on Corona, who has challenged his critics to a game of finders keepers. What’s totally rad is the pot is worth a whopping Php200M. Gotta catch ‘em all, eh?

Problem is, Corona seems to have his own cheats, like… allyourLAWSarebelongtous, which renders him invulnerable to prosecution… since, well, he’s the SUPREME Justice… oops… “Chief Justice”. Talk about taking “my word is law” to all new heights.

So how do we beat a fellow cheater? Other than 1337er h4xx0rz (“elite-r” hacking, a.k.a cheat harder, stronger, faster, better), we can learn HOW he cheats… his modus operandi. And thanks to our ever diligent journalists, the release of our (in)famous Chief Justice statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), we’ve caught him with his pants down.

Seems like papa Corona likes under declaring his assets’ worth and putting them under the names of his family—like how the mafia does it, capiche?

So who’s your daddy now, Mr. “Chief” Justice.

Let justice reign.

Is America our friend…?

This post is in reply to the November 16 article published by GMA News which can be found here.

The title of this post sums up what I feel is the meat of the matter as opposed to the many comments already posted on the webpage about how “disrespectful” or how “uncouth” it was for a mere student to disrupt a foreign dignitary, and a very high ranking one at that, who’ve graced us with her presence.

Is America really our friend?

The answer is no.

Why? After all they’ve done for us? They saved us from the Japanese!

Well, I can’t say that America hasn’t been “friendly” to the Philippines, but if I used my definition of who are “really friends” and those who are “friendly acquaintances”, America would fall on the latter category.

For me at least, a friend is someone who likes you the way you are and does not have any ulterior motives in “being” your friend. Moreover, a real friends would treat each other as equals and would respect each other’s rules when they’re in each other’s homes.

Going back to reality, can anyone honestly say that the US treats the Philippines as its equal–or any other country for that matter? Moreover, can our treaty be “mutual” when only one party (the Philippines) is hosting the other party’s troops? Any way you look at it, the first tenet of the Visiting Forces Agreement, that “visiting forces” (AKA, the American soldiers) cannot be subject to the host country’s laws asides from those that are considered of “particular importance”, greatly favors the American troops here on Philippine soil, basically giving them diplomatic immunity.

I don’t know about you, but I consider rape with “particular importance”.

People (not only Filipinos but EVERYONE) need to realize that we’re in a dog eat dog world and that everyone is just out for their own sake.

Frogs and… cannibalism!

I’m NOT anti-American, mind you. Nor am I a leftist, a communist, or an extremist.

I’m a practical person, and I say it’s all business. Emotions or ideals aren’t and shouldn’t be involved. No one in their right mind would refuse an advantage, especially if it’s LEGAL. America is just being practical. You can’t blame them for not being dumb.

As the saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” the Philippines should become practical as well. Scrap that shit. 

Science for the Future

A room full of papers, plastics, computers, scribbled notes and a large whiteboard full of equations was everything I expected to see in an office of a scientist and I was not disappointed.

In Room 304 of the National Physics Institute (NPI) I met with this year’s National Academy of Science and Technology Most Astounding Young Scientist awardee, Dr. Eric A. Galapon and the Coordinator of the Theoretical Physics Group in the institute to talk about himself, his research, and the science and research scene in the country.

At only 38 years of age and taking from how busy his workspace looked like, I started the interview by asking Dr. Galapon why he chose to be a scientist. At first there was an awkward silence, but judging by his face, I knew this scientist was really thinking hard on how to answer. “Why science,” he said contemplatively, “I guess it’s because I enjoy it.” “I think scientists and treasure hunters are similar. We’re both looking for treasure, but the only difference is our treasure is knowledge. It’s really the excitement of being the first one to discover something that the other seven billion people in the world were oblivious to that rewards us scientists.”

Surprisingly, Dr. Galapon wasn’t always the passionate scientist he is today. The only reason he took Physics when he was an undergraduate was because there was a scholarship being offered and that his family couldn’t afford sending him to college otherwise. During that time, he discovered he had a knack for science and that eventually lead him to discover his first, real love: Quantum Mechanics.

Quantum Mechanics is a theory in Physics to explain why it seemed that Classical Mechanics, or more commonly known as Newton’s Second Law of Motion, does not apply in the atomic level—the building blocks of all matter. “As is, the tenets Classical Mechanics break down in the atomic and sub-atomic level, so a new theory had to be proposed to explain such phenomenon, and that’s how Quantum Mechanics came about,” Dr. Galapon said.

According to Dr. Galapon, life as scientist isn’t easy. “Being a scientist requires a lot of devotion. You must be willing to put effort and yes, a lot of time in order to yield even the smallest results. At least for me, even though I have a full-time job here in the University of the Philippines as a lecturer and a researcher,” after heaving a sigh he said, “I still find myself constantly thinking of my research.” “When I’m lecturing or eating or whether I’m in my office or at home, even when I’m talking to my wife, I’m always thinking,” he said chuckling.

Not only is being a scientist mentally taxing, it is also very frustrating at times. Dr. Galapon recounted his first experience trying to get his work published outside of the country as being awful. He explained that he felt he was rejected not only because he was an unknown scientist, but also because he was a scientist in a third-world country. “You really have to persevere and not be modest when it comes to trying to publish your work abroad,” he said very fittingly as his first internationally published work was featured in one of the most prestigious science journals in the world, the Royal Society of London, after many rejections from other publications.

Another problem with scientific research here in the Philippines is described by Dr. Galapon as the “non-existence of a scientific-culture”. He blames the government and also society for the lack of interest in the sciences. “Here in the Philippines, people seem to think that science is all about inventing new stove or type of car, those sorts of inventions, which are really already the end results or the products of “real scientific research”.

“Even politicians think this way,” he said becoming more serious. “In general, the scientific community fears that the great progress made by the former Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr. Estrala Alabastro, who herself is a scientist from the University of Santo Tomas, would be reversed by the appointment of a person who doesn’t even have any background in the sciences and is a career executive,” he added. “If we look at all the rich countries in the world, their wealth is at least directly proportional to the amount of money they devote to research,” Dr. Galapon said explaining how with more research comes more breakthroughs and these breakthrough are not only useful but also very profitable.

Dr. Galapon ended by saying that only time would tell how the Philippines will in the future, but he quickly added that when society and the powers that be change their attitudes towards science, the hope of our nation would shine all the brighter. “I have great faith that if and when that happens, we’ve got more than enough talent here to storm the globe,” he said with a smile.

Dear President Noynoy

[This blogpost was inspired by this article by Yahoo News Philippines.]

Dear President,

Please do not take yourself too seriously. When you have to choose between your pride and your security as the “head of state” and the “hope of the people”, there is no contest. Your security comes first.

Please conduct yourself in a manner that befits your rank. You are much more valuable alive than dead. Do not tease fate.

Yes, your detractors will criticize you if you reverse your own position on wang-wang, but who cares! They’ll criticize whatever you do, so just do what I do with my own critics: ignore them—that’s what they’re good for.

Worry about the important things, not about some traffic “nuisance”.

In the first place, you should have just zero-ed in on the abusers of the wang-wang, our much beloved congressmen and people of self-import (yung mga FEELING lang). The law provides the Executive, the vice Executive, the two heads of of both Houses of Congress and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and those who work in law-enforcement and emergency services the right to use a siren while on route during official business.

Please don’t be stubborn, be smart. You are more important than you think (Aww, sweet ┐( ¯3¯)┌).

Yours truly,

Isang Pilipino

Meh…

If someone ever seriously asked me how was my life these past couple of months, I would probably say “meh”. Not because I’m indifferent or complacent, but rather because I feel like my life has spiralled into oblivion.

Why do I say this? It is because life here in the Philippines is just that: full of indifference and complacency.

In a country with its political, judicial, and economic system inter-woven together and are all inherently corrupt–to the highest levels–one can almost tangibly feel the despair and the abandon in the people. Imagine having to live knowing that fact? If you can,  you’re one step closer from being able to understand what it is being a Filipino.

Our history is fraught with the rich seizing power through despicable means, getting addicted to it, and lasciviously trying to keep it. What’s more saddening is that the masses, the very ones that have most suffered from the greed and the corruption of the rich, have stabbed themselves in back time and again because of how they vote. It is an agonizing truth, but truth nonetheless. Every election year, millions of pesos are spent on campaigns and common man is bombarded by political propaganda through every sensory means possible in an effort to blind the people from the truth.

In the Philippines, elections are bought.

Being a UP student, those of you who might think that I should feel differently being in “THE ACTIVIST SCHOOL” in the country are wrong. Yes, UP students are activists in the sense that some actively go on rallies and actively criticizes the administration, referring to the university’s and the government. But, their activism stops short to those things that directly affects themselves. Few or even none goes into the foray of the unknown or are brave enough to stick out of the crowd and stick it up to those in power. What’s more is that they seem to be taking their cues from the newspapers or by simply just going against anything the government or the university administration tries to pull off. True activism goes further than self-interest lest they be just the same as the rich: doing things for their own sakes.

Moreover, rather than asking students to go and “rally” for change, wouldn’t it be more helpful for them to encourage students to actually register to vote? Wouldn’t it make a larger impact if students were encouraged to register themselves and also to invite their friends and families to ALSO do the same?

Well, having said that, I can’t really blame them for doing what they been doing. Our generation did grow up in THE time in which everything the government, and by default what their agencies, try to do should come into question. We SHOULD be suspicious. But, hope is not in another EDSA Revolution. Rather, hope is always and has always been in the hearts of the people.

Our complacency and indifference… our acceptance of the status quo must end. It is high time that the death-grip of the rich be broken over our country, that we wash ourselves of the dross they’ve splashed over us… to drown us with the despair.

Hope is in us… change is upon us.

Rise up, Philippines! Rise up my fellow students. Register and vote WISELY at the 2010 Presidential Elections.

Still mehing… but changing,

Daniel