Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Politicians' Holy Week

The Holy Week this April 1 and 2 is one indication for the country's supposed deep religiosity. But it has also become one of the tourist attractions. Tourists want to witness the reenaction of Christ's crucifixion 2 thousands years ago. The Catholic Church is not happy with this since that veers away from real essence of the holy observance. But of course who can tell those hard-headed "faithful" who think they can wash away their sins through their own ways? 

Anyways, it happens that this Holy Week is sandwiched between the on-going electoral campaign period and the upcoming national elections come May 10, 2010. The politicians are barred from riding on the celebration. No campaigning is allowed, warned the Commission on Election (COMELEC). Meanwhile, my cartoon is also timely with its usual "irreverence" directed at the so-called traditional politicians. 

Btw, I think we need to define a traditional politician or the coinage "trapo" which is a word for rag. I would like to post on this topic next time or next post but I think one of the characteristics of a trapo is one who lies just to get the votes of the electorate. Therefore he is consummate liar. Go figure who are these presidential candidates who are liars. Bet, you can easily spot them through their ads.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lights Out

In our own dialect or in Cebuano dialect to be exact, "lights out" is "palong og mga suga." Let me clarify, I was born in Davao City and so I am a Davaoeño by birth but I am a Cebuano by origin since my grandparents came from Cebu - the Queen of the South. Unfortunately, I only have few Davaoeño words I learned from classmates from Davao Oriental who spoke the dialect. What we regularly use is Bisaya Dialect or Cebuano Dialect. "Bisaya" refers to the Visayas Region where Cebu is located.

As a melting pot of cultures, Davao City appears to have no dialect of its own. What you hear is a mixture of dialects dominated by Cebuano words and Tagalog or Filipino. Unless you are in the province of Davao Oriental, you seldom hear the Davaoeño dialect here. In fact, the mixture of dialects is mirrored in a joke like this: "Sinabi kong huwag tumabok pero tumabok, hayan naligsan tuloy! (I told him not to cross [the street] but he did not listen that's he was ran over). "Tumabok is funny combination of "tawid" (Tagalog) and "tabok" (Bisaya or Cebuano) while "naligsan" is Bisaya word for "run over." The phrase would surely elicit laughter.

Anyways, "palong" (to switch off) is a Cebuano word. In Tagalog, the equivalent word is somewhat gory which is "patay" which is "to kill or dead" in English. So if you say, "patayin mo ang ilaw" you are saying if literally understood as "kill the light (ilaw in Tagalog or Filipino but it's "suga" in Cebuano)." So, last night (from 8:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M) we did palong our lights to express our participation in the Earth Hour. It was a successful activity as per report by the ABS-CBN television network saying that, if I am not mistaken, over 15 million Filipinos participated in the cause. But within my neighborhood, not all herded the call of the Earth Hour. Perhaps, many did not learn about it.

In my opinion, the activity was or is well-meaning. If in our case, we will practice switching off our light for one hour everyday, we are pretty sure to save from usually electric bill of over Php1,500.00 monthly (or roughly USD31). We know this is doable if we sacrifice by skipping our fave tv programs or using the computer, etc in an hour on the daily basis. Let me see...

Despite its well-meaning intention, the Earth Hour gets its own critics or haters. Well, we can't do about it. We cannot please everyone. But we know that somehow, they are right in saying that there are other issues that can be tackled aside from the issue on global warming. But in presenting those points, we cannot agree that Earth Hour is not a noble idea. It is a noble idea that anyone can emulate for other valid societal issues.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Join Earth Hour 2010

First time we participated in Earth Hour was in March 2008. In 2009, we also responded to the call of the local organizers by voluntarily switching off our lights and everything on the appointed time. Again, we will do the same tomorrow joining in spirit with all the citizens of the world who would be positively responding to the event.

If there were only few of us in the neighborhood that joined the Earth Hour, I am sure many would participate this time - as one of the things we can contribute to the well-meaning goal for the Earth and the entire humanity. I always remember the apt slogan I heard many times when I was with an environment-based group in the 90s - think globally, act locally!

In view of the present energy crisis, I guess Earth Hour makes sense especially if we will do it on a regular basis like switching off our lights one hour each day beginning after Earth Hour. I am sure the positive impact would be on our power consumption.

By the way, the filler at the topmost side of this post is my idea on how we Filipinos participate in the Earth Hour. I just culled out from some sites the elements and put them together. The official logo of the event is this small icon here, if you don't know yet. Click that logo for the Earth Hour site. Baye!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Power Crisis

The energy crisis is waggling its ugly tail again. First, the Davao Light and Power Company earlier announced that there would be a one-hour rotating power curtailment as power supply from the grid of Transco is decreasing with the onset of dry spell or El Niño.

Imagine rushing a job using your computer and then suddenly a power cutoff strikes? The bad news is that the rotational power outage is extended to two hours. This is the point of the cartoon. Well, we can do nothing about it and perhaps, at the moment, we can still be thankful if we compared this scenario years back. That was during the 90s when the entire Mindanao, which relies 90 percent of its power on hydro generation, plunged into long hours of darkness or power crisis.

The Department of Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes had a proposal, blame God for this power crisis. He is doing a Pontius Pilate. Though El Niño maybe an act of God, the game is in our hands to do something to mitigate the impact of the phenomenon. The long dry spell is given but what we are doing to soften the impact if this is inevitable?

For instance, it is the government’s role to supposedly tap alternative sources of energy and make them work after the lesson we had in the 90s. Following the energy crisis in the 90s, we conducted a research on alternative sources of energy that can be possibly tapped or developed. These options were already being practiced. Meaning, they were doable or feasible. And as to their viability, perhaps the government can help in this aspect.

Options we gathered had included mini-hydro, windmill, solar energy, biogas, etc. But the government has failed to tap these alternative sources of energy.

R. Duterte - Nograles Verbal Tussle

The political cauldron in Davao City is heating up as noted from the recent exchange of accusations between the incumbent Mayor Rody Duterte who is running for vice mayor, and House Speaker Boy Nograles who is again gunning for the mayoralty post of Davao City.

My drawing tried to depict a funny scene. The background was - the Team Nograles alleged that Rody Duterte’s administration has been fraught with anomalies. Naturally, Mayor Duterte fought back through his Sunday program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa.” When local tv reporters tried to get his side on Mayor Duterte's reply, Nograles simply sang a line from an old song.

If this should reach its boiling point, we hope that it will be on the day of elections and by way of the people’s voice. We cannot allow this verbal tussle to result in any undesirable circumstances. Afterall, both men are respected in Davao City. And afterall, this is just politics. Well, ugly specter of politics.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On the RH Bill

The Reproductive Health Bill continues to be one of the hottest issues we have today. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is steadfast on its stance to oppose it especially in line with the proposed provisions on abortion. CBCP is critical to candidates who are supportive of the bill.