Friday, June 29, 2007

Remembering the Eighties (80s)

Remember Madonna? Michael Jackson's moonwalk? The funky Ray-Ban? Those were the fad of the eighties and nobody would ever disagree that the eighties was one of the finest turning points of the 20th century. It was the decade of the skimpy acid-washed jeans and all those make-ups and hairdos that made Cindy Lauper and Madonna the menace of the fashion ideals of that time.

Many of the fads then were not a big clue to the present generations now. Remembering the eighties is like walking back into the enigmatic days where everything was simple and natural. There were no malling during those days since most of the party freaks went into the party halls where the ease of dancing was as simple as a click of the fingers and groove to punk rock and wave music. For most people who were born during that time, the dress up was most on the hairdo: spray nets were in and the ladies were in the "bangs" mode as hairdo. While the girls were into "bangs" the boys were into punky hairstyles as implied by the music fashion during that time.

"There were no pot sessions like shabu and ecstasy pills during that time, and drug abuse was not a major factor during the party nights in clubs." says Irwin whose party favor always ends up at his house during that time. "Many of my friends were simple in get up unlike these days now where ur mode of dressing in hip hop is different than a rockista, during that time most of us are into one dress mode whether you are into punk music or wave and the was as if everything are working in the same mode or style unlike today." For most in the Philippine setting, according to Weng, the party moves around the house of the Friends of friends during birthdays and debuts of friends. "Everything that time has class coz most of us don't have social class insinuations...everyone was welcome even if ur rich or not...di na gaya ngayon meron na social level ang mga friends ng mga kabataan."

The birth of the MTV in the eighties gave the music lovers a new insight to appreciating music. It was during this time that Billy Joel gave the audience a dose of the Ray-Ban fad. And the Pet Shop Boys giving the most upbeat music genre that started the techno music beat that we have today. The enigma of the music videos and their simplicity gave the present music videos a hint of what it was during that time and what they have to improve today.

The movies also have their class during that time and dictated the ins and outs of the social ways. The eighties also gave fame to the heartthrob of that time with Tom Cruise whose "Top Gun" movie raised the dreams of the boys to be in the navy and most of the generation 80s boys went to have a Maritime course while "Rad", a bmx bike movie, gave the necessary style to the bicycle stunt makers of that time.

The atari video console also gave to our modern playstation, xbox and game cube. The ugly looking console was the most modern given the fact that its the first of its kind during that time. And how about the betamax which gave us the first quality home entertainment system? Today, it is oceans away in terms of video quality and handiness with our DVDs and Blue ray technologies but nonetheless the betamax technology gave our homes the viewing experience without leaving our homes then.

Every bit of the eighties made a huge impact to the youth during that time and probably those who were born in the eighties would suggest that the best times of their lives was when they were in the classic eighties.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Mindanao Railway Agenda: A dream for a reality or just another dream?

For the past ten years, Mindanao received a lot of prospects from the national government regarding the plans of the future Mindanao railway system. The project was launched in September 1996 as among the flagship projects under the Ramos administration. It was relaunched in Arroyo’s administration with Speaker Jose De Venecia at the helm. The Arroyo government put the Mindanao development as one of its major agenda in her SONA. News conferences have come out since 2001 about the Mindanao railway agenda but the starting phase of the project always ceases despite interested countries announcing to fund the feasibility studies.

There have been interested countries that expressed interest in the project. Back in 2005, the Thailand government pledged an amount of $ 1 million (US) dollars to the Philippines to bankroll the feasibility studies for the first phase of the project. The first phase of the Mindanao railway project, the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan grid, an 83 kilometer length between the two cities, would enhance the economic prospects of both cities and the nearby provinces if implemented. The grid is the location of the longest industrial corridor in Mindanao, the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor (CIC) which currently hosts one of the biggest industries in the Philippines. Back in 2006, Spain was also interested in helping our country with this project citing their technological know-how in their local rail transport system through RENFE, Spain’s national railway operator which operates Spain’s 15,000 kilometer system of railways. They were interested in participating in the Iligan-Cagayan de Oro Railway project and told that it will fund 100,000 Euros for a feasibility project. Construccion Y Auxilliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), on the other hand, a railroad construction company, was also looking at providing 33 million Euros to fund the feasibility study for the Mindanao railway project. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) reported back in 2005 that Germany and Saudi Arabia have announced its intentions to invest a whooping P18 billon for the construction of the Mindanao Railway. Germany announced that they will invest 220 million Euros or P15.4 billion while Saudi Arabia will lend $40 million and donate another $10 million or a total of P2.705 billion. The investment would have partly financed the 83-kilometer Cagayan-Cotabato Phase of the project that would link the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, Marawi and Cotabato by 2008. And just recently, the government of Iran is interested with the first Mindanao railway project that would span the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor as it said that it would span the Muslim-Christian relationship in the said island.

What seems to stop this project from being implemented is a question cannot be answered. Despite the interests of other countries to fund the project, there seems to be a halting mechanism to start the project. Some would quote the peace and order aspect. Now that the government of Iran is interested which is a Muslim nation, peace and order would not be the reason for the halting of the project. Let’s wait and see if any good outcome will result.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Iligan City- More than a month since the May 14 elections, the 1st congressional district of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte still has no proclaimed candidate for congress. According to Atty. Abundiente, lawyer of (GO) Genuine Opposition congressional candidate Varf Belmonte, the scheduled hearing last June 21 did not materialize because the lawyers of the other candidates were not present for the said hearing. Instead, the hearing was rescheduled to June 28.

Atty. Abundiente was optimistic that the ‘tampered’ COCs will be junked as the Comelec panel who were present asked for the presentation of the untampered COCs which are issued to the Namfrel-PPCRV and the other parties. Sources told that the lawyer of the other candidate, Imelda “Angging” Dimaporo, did not attend to the said hearing because the appropriate case is not in the jurisdiction of the Comelec but to the Electoral Tribunal in Congress. However, Abundiente junked the basis on the statement of Dimaporo’s lawyers for the reason that the cases filed to the Electoral Tribunal in Congress is intended for political positions that have already proclaimed a candidate and that the Provincial Board of Canvassers in Tubod, Lanao del Norte were not able to proclaim a representative for the first disctrict of Lanao del Norte.

It can be recalled that the results of the canvassing of May 14, 2007 elections, Belmonte led over his counterparts in the congressional race with a margin of seventeen thousand (17,000) votes over Nikki Badelles, daughter of incumbent congressman Alipio Badelles, and Imelda Dimaporo, incumbent governor of the same province, respectively. But as the canvassing in the Provincial level continued, the three ballot boxes, which were said to be inside the Vice Governor's office, were found with its locks destroyed and forcibly opened with its COC contents tampered through the use of a 'snowpick', an office supply used by brushing a certain text area in any type of document for correction. When the COCs were canvassed, the results of the total votes were not the same as the other COCs which are issued to the Namfrel-PPCRV and the other parties.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

PINOY BIG BROTHER Season 2: The Conflicting Women

Lately, there has been a stir in the reality series Pinoy Big Brother season 2. The female housemates namely Wendy, Beatriz, and Gee-Ann were having a sour situation in the house where the ‘Big Four’ from the present seven is going to be chosen. The conflict started with the nomination of the next evictees in the house where Gee-Ann nominated Wendy and Bruce (the bf of Wendy in the house) with Beatriz also nominating the two. For the past week, the house has been in hot situation since the start of the ‘harapang nomination’ where the nominees are made to announce their nomination in front of the other housemates. On the nomination night, Wendy reacted to the nominations of the two saying that Gee-Ann and Beatriz are plastic and not being real to her from the start because they nominated her and drank red wine with Bruce while spraying her madness about the nomination to the male housemates. Wendy has been so mad about it that she even resorted to letting the two overhear her madness on her in the hallway of the house and also when she was confronted by Big Brother in the confession room where she said that Gee-Ann is not worthy for the cash prize because of the fact the latter comes from a better living in the society and that both Gee-Ann and Beatriz are not being real to her from the start because they are not showing the real self of the two to her. She even made her madness clear to the two to the point that she closes the doors of the cabinets and the girl’s room with force.

The conflict escalates to the whole house because it resulted to the division between the side of Wendy’s group namely Nel, Bruce and Bodie to Gee-Ann’s pairing with Beatriz (simply because they are the subjects of Wendy’s wild intuitions). The present situation of the house resulted to the public’s negative comments about Wendy in internet forums regarding the conflict inside the house. With Wendy’s violent reaction to Gee-Ann and Beatriz, the possibility of her and Bruce going to the ‘Big Four’ is getting slimmer chances.