Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Philippines Airlines: A sign of Filipino management failure

Last Tuesday's wild cat strike by the employees of Philippine Airlines has been depressing and distressful to its passengers, foreigners and locals.

What happened here, what is going on?

Let us study PAL's history for a minute:

Philippine Airlines is one of oldest airlines in Asia, established in 1941. It is quite good in the early days. But due to the Asian Financial crisis in 1997, PAL almost hit rock bottom. Poor management, overspending, and frequent re-shuffling of its employees created huge losses amidst together with the Financial Crisis. One of the biggest well known strike were held in 1998 led PAL to shut down its operations. Foreign businesses, stakeholders, and investors wanted to save the airline but were turned off by this frequent labor disputes.

PAL has been looking for some strategic partners earlier up to now. Before, Cathay Pacific has shown interest, but the airline is still weak from its knees, and its management tried again to manage it itself, and acquired a big loan from SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission)  to continue its operations and hopefully make some profit. But there is a catch, this agreement (they call it 'receivership') will end on 2007. SEC is like the 'umbilical cord' to PAL. PAL rebounded and increased its routes to major airports around the world.

Year 2007 ended and now 'all hell broke loose.' Mismanagement, overspending is there again (PAL is buying a lot of airplanes wherein they are short of pilots, crew, and staff), and frequent disputes from its employees, in which they formed a union called PAL Employees Association (PALEA).

PALEA's demand are simple, better pay, good benefits and job security. But PAL cannot give these as it is trying to recover its losses earlier. It was a 'stale-mate.'

Frequent labor disputes are present from then on, and PAL has decided mass contractualization of its employees. In 2010, some of PAL pilots left their jobs permanently without any information.

Now we all know its story. As an ordinary passenger what we will do then? I think you know that already. By avoiding PAL at all costs to avoid any delays in your schedule. This will be a continuous cycle until a major revamp has been established. The company is in distress and it will take some time and effort to bring back its reputation. Other airlines offer cheaper fares anyway.

This is a sign that a Filipino cannot manage a company in its entirety. That is why other nationalities like Chinese, Europeans, Americans, even Indians are preferred in managing day to day operations of a business.
A major installation like an airport requires utmost care and precision. If someone could not do it - then leave. Better than making matters worse for thousands of passengers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Confession of a Filipino Meteorologist

I remember the early days, when I was a young kid. Watching nature wreak havoc outside of our mansion. It is awe inspiring that this force, heavy gusts of wind, sharp droplets of rain and small hail, can cause immediate destruction.

The Philippines has experienced it all, and the typhoons will come more and more.

Such fascination led to me to go to trips locally and around the world. I visited the PAGASA office sometime maybe thrice, I observed how they worked, and befriended Dr. Nilo.

You thought he is just an ordinary bloke, but some of his peers call him the 'human barometer.' There was this one time we were drinking, and he told he will leave early. I asked him why, and he told that it will rain hard, I checked outside and the weather seems to be fine. It did rain afterwards, and I called him and asked his secret:

"It is no secret, keen observation and respecting nature and incorporating into our daily habit is what I do. Just stand outside and observe the sky, the wind, the raindrops, all of these are taken into account. You know already we do not have expensive high tech equipment. So me and some of my colleagues use ourselves 'our own bodies' for this."

"We are sacrificing ourselves here, since we have no equipment to gather data, we go outside to gather it ourselves. That is battling intense heat, typhoons, we check also for air quality and even rain quality, etc. etc. We told everyone that machines can do this, we cannot play our lives with nature. I actually asked someone to do it for me with my whole salary as compensation - no one dared to do it. Nobody has the passion to do what I do. And what I asked is to OBSERVE! A basic scientific methodology/process."

"By the way, I have to leave. You know already why, because of the stress at work before, my health deteriorated. I have lots of medicines to buy which is hard to budget. My family is getting worried too and I have 2 kids, I want the best for them. My flight is next week going to Japan. They told me they will set up some tsunami warning beacon there. And they recognize my talents and skills, I won't let this opportunity escape."

"Don't worry. I will still interpret the climate data gathered from the sensors we installed around the country and nearby coastlines. I was ashamed last time that we are using an old hygrometer from the 1960's. That is why the readings are always 'normal.' It is good you funded these new sensors, now we are able to interpret the weather more accurately. I can even check it online."

"Take care always, I'll send you an email when I arrive."

Now, we have to brace ourselves. Even though we have the latest technology, if there are no people who are passionate enough in this profession, there is no way we can predict our own weather.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Avoiding sickness and taking care of your body (continued)

The main problem with the Philippine medical system is the commercialization of the medical profession.

Everything must have a price. Gone are the days that they will give you proper TLC to be healthy. Now, being healthy is equivalent to having money.

Let us be aware that if someone is in the medical profession, he/she must practice it and appropriate support must be given. If I am a nurse, I will practice my profession even outside hospital premises. provided I must be compensated as well.

The knowledge and skills that I earned must be shared to the family and community. Especially in regards to health.

So if I see something that is unhealthy, I will advise others to clean it as per my supervision. Why cannot we do that?

Now I tell you, there are lots of doctors and nurses who do not have jobs here in the Philippines. Some are working with low salary, and some are working for free!

That is complete BS!

I failed on this one folks, I will do my best to give our doctors and nurses a high paying job. Let them have jobs whether in local or abroad. it is their job to take care of someone who sick, so if they are idle, what they have learned will be useless.

Remember, health is WEALTH!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Avoiding sickness and taking care of your body

I am not feeling well.

I went to a hospital and the doctor gave some antibiotics to me and he told me to rest.

That I did and I felt better.

Being sick is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. Imagine other organisms are 'eating away' your immune system, until you cannot function well and die. Medical science has made great strides as well as mistakes - either we are cured or murdered inch by inch.

Study your body for a minute, look in front of the mirror. Check any peculiar marks. What I have right now is dandruff, and some small skin lesions. That is normal if you are under stress like me.  I have a small beer belly, that I am trying to remove by diet and exercise.

Some people who have some money go to a hospital or clinic. By all means do it while you still can. Maintaining good health is the hard part. After getting well, surely, you will go back to your habit again. Overwork, stress, smoking, eating too much, booze, or drugs...

Your body is like a punching bag by diseases if you continue this kind of unhealthy lifestyle.

So far I do not care on what you do to your body, but I am worried about the environment you are living on. Simply put, if you are not taking care of your body in a satisfactory way, then you are a 'disease' waiting to burst and explode with all those contaminated spores contaminating the air, and will infect another human being.

In the early days, if you are not taking of yourself well, if you have a certain disease. You are killed, instantly. Sometimes they quarantine you, but some people will think of a fast way to end their misery.

Thank God Filipinos are somewhat clean. Some of my foreign guests are telling me that even homeless or poor people take a bath regularly. But the problem is their homes. Even though you take a bath 5 times a day, your home is filthy and reeking of garbage water. It is useless.

(to be continued...)

What do I have to do to improve my country? (continued 2)

Battling poverty in the Philippines I think will be a 'Pyrrhic Victory.'

Look at other Asian countries like Vietnam, Japan, Korea, they have these great wars, many of their citizens died. This great loss, prompted them to get back on their feet on their own, and became more industrialized and politically stable.

All success comes with a cost.

People Power is nothing short of a Philippine failure, 'too much kindness.' It is about time someone must wake up.   I am fed up with it, seeing that boy earlier that I helped. Hell, there is more, selling sampaguitas, sniffing glue, prostitution, a child who quickly lost its innocence, is totally not acceptable.

The greatest thief, is someone who steals the playtime of a child.

During my work stint abroad, my friend told me that if the Philippines were in a state of civil war, where would I be. I told him that, I will go back to the Philippines, I want to take care of my family.

He told that I am stupid. Why would you go there, they probably died already and looted all your belongings by the military or looters. Transportation will be a mess, everything will be in chaos.

He is correct. Still I tried to reason out, I will still come back, I have to, I really do. But all things will be put to halt there. And military intervention from the US will surely be there to maintain peace and order.

He does not know that I have to come back to know the state of my country. You know, If you had a car accident, you will check your car, what is the damage, etc. Same thing there.

That is the only way for now. Look at what is happening to Mindanao, they still cannot get full control of it. Why? Because it is the food basket of the nation. I always tell the president to avoid any conflicts or skirmishes there. They don't know that the food they eat comes from there.

A man hungry for power does not know what real hunger means.

So again. let me conclude this, we will never beat poverty because we are 'too kind.'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What do I have to do to improve my country? (continued..)

So I healed the boy's parents for P100 and for 5 hours of my time. While you guys wasted a month or a year studying all this crap in front of me wasting paper, electricity, and money without helping a single person yet?

What a complete BS.

This is not a Pay it Forward scheme like in the movie. This is a more realistic scenario, just help someone, by devoting some money and effort, and make that person help another person, replicating or increasing the favor done to him.

The story of a the Good Samaritan in the Bible is nothing short of an incomplete story.

We human beings are forgetting the 'sense of gratitude.' Someone helped us, in our own way we must help someone too. Consider it an obligation, not a sense of kindness.

As part of the society, we must learn to help each other continuously, so that we can prosper.

In the Philippines, it does not work that way. Everyone is selfish. Now that is the challenge I tell you, can you do what I did just now? Devoting my own money and time in an instant. I didn't give money to UNICEF (Although I gave them too in the early days) or some charitable institution, because the help will surely not reach in time.

Too much planning will ruin everything. Time is running, a person is starving right now.

On this age of technology, sending money is also fast. Why human beings are thinking slower, isn't it because when we press the button the computer will think for us? How fast can we press or click that button is still up to us.

(continued 2...)

Simple things performed are inspirational

I would like to thank the staff of for publishing my story online. 

You keep me inspired to write more and more.

Link of that story is below:

What do I have to do to improve my country?

It is a simple question, but a hard one.

We all have problems, big, small, complicated, simple. And we have to solve it, either quickly or in a certain time.

Problems come and go.

I asked professionals, businessmen, scientists, engineers, educators, doctors, those who have spent their lives studying and crunching numbers...

What can I do to improve our country?

They gave me plans, presented it to me, some reports, feasibility studies so thick I am not able to read it.

Why should I believe them where they are not checking outside?

So that is what I did.

I saw a boy, with rugby stuck on his nose, I have my trusty camcorder with me, and recorded it.

Why do you have to do this? I asked the boy.

He just smiled and told me, "My parents are sick, I do this to buy medicine."

Simple, logical, and effective. As Albert Einstein said, "It takes a genius to see the obvious."
If there is no money, try to work for it, either you beg or whatever, just do it.

Then I told those professionals:

Gentlemen, your education is impressive, and you have presented me these reports and all, I will show you what I did...

I saw this boy outside, begging for money, on the streets of Manila where vehicles travel fast. He already inhaled the polluted city smoke for more than a month now. He did not take a bath and he stink a lot.
I asked him why he did it, he told the money will be used to buy medicine for his parents.

You may have thought just give the boy some money right? Just imagine, how can a small boy explain to the pharmacist what kind of medicine I need for my parents? What if he buys a wrong one? The money that I have given is wasted.

To make it short, I told him to take me into their home, so that I can see his parents condition myself. When I saw them both, they are in bed, both are sick with high fever.

Without intervention from my assistants, I bought some fruits, soup and medicines to make their fever drop. And some extra medicines were also given by the pharmacist to counter all possible sickness the couple will have.

All these I have done myself. The cost incurred is P100 + 5 hours of my time.

After they felt a little better, they asked me who I am. I told them this:
"Now your condition has improved, all of this is a test. everything is. Now you can go to work and do the same thing that I did to other people. I spent P100 to you both and gave my time also. Try to duplicate that or beat it.

They were stunned to hear me said that.

(to be continued..)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Photography 101

There was a function from our office yesterday evening, I was told by one of the managers to bring the company camera to take pictures.

So its a responsibility for me, to take photos of important people coming to the function.

The place is posh, a well known hotel. I took a few snaps of the early comers together with my colleagues.
I have my camera with me, a Canon Powershot Pro. It is simple, easy to use. This is not an SLR and not a digicam also. It is somewhere in between.

In my early days, I also grew fond of photography. My parents love to snap pictures. My dad knows about photography quite well, we still have that Canon AE something 35mm camera, right now it is being attacked by fungi. I took impressive pictures with that camera, from girls, to places, my best one is when my neighbor made a big ollie on his skateboard and I took a snap of it, with ASA 1000, damn he is like flying in the air. I gave that pic to some photo competitions, I lost.

My phobia with photography came when my mother wanted to buy her own camera. Me and my sisters are shopping, when she tried to buy this instamatic camera where you can put a 110 film (the one that has a cartridge and a film in one). We waited for hours for her, as I know she is haggling for the price. I cannot remember the brand though, maybe its a Fuji or Kodak. I will ask her. But the main thing we hated it, is that we waited for hours and we were so hungry. Then we were told to eat at home as the camera was quite expensive, she already spent the money for our food. That sucks. I will never forget that.

Anyway that instamatic camera made us purchase more photo albums. She took a lot of photos, all the important moments of our lives. Since my dad is always in abroad and no one can operate his camera but me. Not to mention it is bulky and attractive to thieves, that is why we don't use it often.

Now let's go back to my photography stint. I have been the official photographer for almost all functions I have been to - instantly. I don't know, but it seems I have the knack for it. Some professional photographers request copies of my photos as well. They have the equipment, the access, the lighting, still they cannot get a good decent photo. There was this one guy who have this expensive SLR camera, he just took snaps until his memory card is full. When the important time comes where you will take an important photo, he cannot take it. And my portable but reliable digital camera (Samsung, only 3MP) shot that important moment. He asked me to send it to him, after he was reprimanded by his boss for being useless - spending the company budget on his DSLR camera.

Of course I admire others who dedicate their time to photography only. I have known some photographers who put their lives on the line, in war zones, hostile countries, even in deep jungles where they photograph wildlife. The patience, the skill, and the money and time spent to get the actual photo that they want, seems to be the most important thing for them - to get that moment, that important shot that can bring food on their table, is awe inspiring.

Now that photography and its equipment have become widespread, even cellphones & portable computers have cameras, yes you can use these for photography. Why spend money on expensive photography equipment while a simple digital camera will suffice? I even have a mobile phone and I take a lot of photos with it, and it is fine by me.

Go ahead, and snap everything that interests you. And another thing, please label your photos accurately. Example, if you took it on that date, be sure it must be the actual date where you snapped your pic. Mention the location also and the camera that you used (this is automatic.).

If you want to go deeper, yes you can Google all the aspects of photography, or attend training courses.

Again, take a photo that interests you. Never mind what others say, you can show the photos later on, and let them see their reactions, now that is more interesting.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A simple life changing idea

We all have ideas in our minds. Some big, some small, some are underway, some are still being implemented.

I have tons of ideas in my mind right now that you ever imagined. Maybe it is in my nature. Some of my ideas are so important that I have to keep it a secret - as someone might take it and claim it for themselves.

Clever ideas just don't light up our heads like a light bulb. These ideas must be able to hope you and others as well. An idea that will be useful for the whole community is one heck of an idea.

Never mind if the idea is a success or a failure. Some people measure the idea by their success, which is not so.

Ideas are also demographic, mainly it is applicable in some areas only.

Ideas take time, effort and resources. I cannot see any idea that doesn't involve these.

Ideas influence other people to make adjustments to the main idea.

Having said, maybe we should think idealistically how our ideas will work for us and for the improvement of the quality of life - that is the idea that others cannot think of.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to remove sadness instantly

I have been reviewing some of the Philippine news lately.

Nothing to write about. Full of bickering and bad mouthing anonymously on the internet. even the reporters themselves are incompetent. My elementary students can write more honest reports than these guys who graduated from college.

News is there, bad, worst, negativity, shame, scandals, depression...

There are times we should let it go.

Go to a place that is quiet, serene, only you.

Watch the birds fly, swaying of the trees with the wind. Relax for a bit.

And shout these phrases:

"Pu*%*%^*(&)(^()_)((   MOOOOO AYAW KO NA SA IYO!"

(Translation: F*ck you I don't want you anymore!)

I am sure that negativity will be absorbed by the serene nature you are viewing right now.

You can cry all you want, let it go.

Repeat many times as you like.

tell me your reactions

Friday, September 16, 2011

Suicidal tendencies

I watched a lot and been immersed in Japanese culture.

Accepting defeat for them is as good as being killed.

Imagine if my country Philippines will be like that, then we will be able to prosper. It only these times when recession and problems about money came to surface thats the only time they see reality.

Life is hard, you have to work, pay your bills, and work more harder. With that, you have to please other people too. Smiling at them always and all, just to be with them.

Here is a more sad part. You bring kindness to others and they fuck you up in return. If you give kindness you should expect kindness to be returned right?

Philippines is like that. Filipinos are like that. So be careful if you set foot to our country. Only few people will treat you with utmost kindness. The rest just want to get a quick buck.

Look at the politicians, look at those rich capitalists? don't you see?

Sometimes I just want to die.

Why do I have this country anyway, why should I own this? its not my problem right?
I have helped my countrymen already, why they treat me like shit? Why do I have to hide it from them? I want some respect too... the only respect I get is I have power and money. If I have none of these, NOTHING!

I have tried suicide once, I have it ready on my table. Guns, poison, heights, you name it.

But then again, if I die, who will take care of the country? I can't leave it to other family members, they are old. And my sisters, they will just fuck more of it.

I'll have just to bear with it.

Life goes on, for me and for everyone. even though how hard it is. Money or no money, no love or not, we have to keep going.

Treasure life.

I don't know if I continue, especially if there are those bad people who abuse your kindness....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Depression go away

Yes I admit I am suffering from depression.

It seems it cant go out of my head.

What I do is read inspiring stories, pray, and just meditate, be still, God is moving.

That is what I do.

Talk to a loved one, a relative, or a true friend (not those Facebook friends who will just comment and walk away).

In the end, you can solve your problem by yourself. Either you sink or swim. Be tough my friend, there is always tomorrow.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

One quickie night with Paris

Okay first of all, its just a title.

When Paris came to the Philippines, my secretary called her immediately for an appointment. She was so excited to meet me in person as told by my cheeky secretary.

"Sir, bagay kayo! sana marami kayong maging anak, akin yung may blue eyes."

"Hoy, Ms. ^)^)((*%%$%$  tigilan mo kakapanood ng telenovela ang magtrabaho ka dyan"

"Sir, you belong to each other, hope you will have lots of babies, I want the one with blue eyes."

Hey Ms. ^)^)((*%%$%$, stop watching those telenovelas and get back to work.")

As usual she arrived late. Quite normal for a celebrity like her. But I do know the reason as she met MP with her wife earlier, and she just squeezed some time for me. Sweet indeed.

"Treat it like a quickie."

I laughed at that moment. Yes Paris. is sweet and friendly. While we were talking, I noticed a lot of people noticed us and starting to crowd. I informed security already but some can go past through. Paris was a little concerned, so I held her hand and told her to calm down. I called one of my trusted valet parkers at the hotel and told to bring one of my 'emergency cars' to the special getaway point. When I saw the car, I told her to hold my hand and never let go. So we raced immediately to the car and now fans are screaming with flashing camera lights from paparazzis.

She was impressed that  I could drive on this chaotic traffic. it was EDSA on rush hour, and I told her its normal, especially for third world countries like us. She pinched me at the cheek and told that its okay. During  the long traffic, she talked about her business ventures and all, that she is planning to open a new clothing line and a resort. She talked about her friends in NY, and her business in other countries. And of course her party adventures around the globe.

I told her I was hungry and will go through a drive through at McDonalds. She loved the idea and told she will order for me. She ordered the Big Mac Meal for me (my favorite) and she ordered an Apple pie for herself, but she told the clerk "make it fast."

Upon payment, yes the items were delivered on time, and I told Paris to thank personally the cashier, when I brought down the window and they saw Paris, they went crazy.

We drove till we reached MOA and parked my car. We had a small chat on relationships. I told Paris that we are not getting any younger. You are beautiful and successful, you should have someone now and 'produce' a new heir or heiress. She laughed and told that there is so many things to be done on her career.

"Let me enjoy it."

And when she asked the same to me, I told, there are lots of problems to take care of here, let me solve it.

She kissed me at the cheek.

"Make it fast tiger, you don't know it but someone's waiting."

I looked at her blue eyes, and smiled.

Then her publicist called and told a limousine is waiting for her nearby. She was told to rest for the inauguration of the resort. I accompanied her to her limo and gave her a a gift, two new iphones. She laughed again and told that she will return if her schedule is free.

So that's it. A great gal indeed. I do not mind what it is written against her, as I know her publicist is one of the best ones out there for making someone famous even more famous.

Which I do not want.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Do a random act of kindness (with a Japanese folktale)

I listened to some relaxing meditating music yesterday evening.

This is to remove my stress, my anger, my depression, and my pain.

In this society full of greed, hatred and uncertainty. We must be able to withstand these negative forces.

On my side, this is what I did. I give something without anything in return.

Be it love, money, assets. Giving is something very hard to do these days. And yet we do not do it. Why is that?
Let it be, that the person who receive squander the money or break our hearts with their hearts content.
In the end of the day, who is the one who is in need?

There was once this rich man, who is very kind. Everything he has he always give it to those who asks.

Mister can I have your coat?
Mister I need money.
Mister I need some shoes.
Sir, I need clothes.

Yes you can take them.

All what is left is his head.

Now the man is so kind he was all naked. Then he went to the forest with all the wild animals. They were hungry. So the wild animals asked if they can eat a part of his body.

Can I eat your arms?
Can I eat your legs?
Can i eat your torso?
Can I eat your eyes?

Yes you can eat them.

Now the wild animal who ate the eyes of the man said something:

"Here is my gift for you for your kindness, here's my thank you letter....."

"FOOL" (written on the letter)

The man was so happy, as someone gave him a letter to thank him, but he cannot see what it is written.

He was left all alone in the forest and died immediately.

The end.

So who lost here? who has given happiness to others? was the man wrong in this regard?

try to contemplate about it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Philippines and China Relations

I am really skeptical on our relationship with China.

You know why? Because they will make us their cheap docile labor.

I asked P-Noy on his agenda and his plans on this. All are just jibberish for now. I do not see any concrete plans on how China will contribute to the Philippine Economy (except for bringing fake goods in our country).

I will talk to him once more.

Please brace yourselves and tighten your belts as always.

Do not trust your fellow countrymen (cont.2)

It is really sick that my fellow countrymen (Filipinos) are so into 'crab mentality.'

If you don't know what crab mentality is, its simple. Imagine yourself a crab who wants to go out of the fisherman's net. While other crabs are leading the on the top, you pull them down so that you can be on top.


Other nationalities don't usually practice this. Maybe some of them. But not Filipinos. They are the worst ever.

Okay forgive me, but nowadays, let us be careful. Even our relatives will do it to us. Such a shame which we have to do this to survive. But then again, my country is a poor one. And they accepted it being poor. Nothing can be done for now.

It is ok to be down and let others go up.....for now.

Because when the time has come that I am on top (well I'm always on top), I will never lend a hand to those who are down.

Be thankful I have a soft heart.

Do not trust your fellow countrymen

Before I went abroad, my father and our neighbor talked to each other. Our neighbor stayed half of his life in the middle east, gave me an ominous advice:

Do not trust your fellow countrymen.

I didn't argue. I know that he is correct. And my knees trembled a little. If your own countrymen can't help you, who will?

It is a shame indeed.

(To be continued)
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Zain