MY NEW BLOG: The Ciudadista: Life in the City

Friday, July 30, 2004

one small bird

My not so perfect attempt to take a photo of a bird. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Question of Life and Death

"No prime minister or president with troops in Iraq can end their day other than in prayer at present, The Dominion Post writes in an editorial."
A Question of Life and Death,
The Dominion Post editorial for 28 July 2004

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


The Beehive and Parliament Building, Wellington. The Beehive is the government or administrative centre of New Zealand. The Parliament Building houses the debating chamber and offices of MPs. Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004


The World Today - Govt souring ties with Spain, Philippines: Labor

In this report Australia's Labour Party is saying that the Australian government is souring its ties with Spain and Philippines after blaming the troop pull-outs for the renewed abductions and hostilities in Iraq.

Here we go again, blame, blame, blame. Its the easiest thing to do these days.

Related News:
Australia Says Will Ignore Terror Attack Threat
Rudd slams Filipino attack
Spain rejects terror criticism
Spain, Philippines defend Iraq decision
Philippines, Spain Defend Iraq Decisions
Philippines angry at Australia

Saturday, July 24, 2004


I was called childish yesterday for saying that I watched two Rugrats movies.

Coming from a person who:
-is a fresh graduate asking her parents to send her to their native land while still paying student debts;
-enjoys reading teen fashion magazines;
-loves and exclusiveley watches chick flicks;
-is gullible and forwards any email that promises bad luck for not sending it;
-does not know and cannot talk about any pressing national and international issue; and
-has no explanation for voting a particular candidate as MP for her electorate.

I think I know who is at least more childish than me.


I have just seen Imelda a documentary about the Philippines' former first lady.  It is a very fair and balanced view on the life of Imelda Marcos.  It only deals with her and does not deal with the Ferdinand Marcos and his regime.

Her life is similar to Eva Peron of Argentina.

It has funny scenes especially Imelda's "Seven Portals."

This film won an award at Sundance.  I am just not sure which award probably in cinematography.

After watching this movie, I came to the conclusion that Mrs. Marcos is truly a very crazy woman.  She is an embarrassment to Filipinos.

Friday, July 23, 2004


I am craving for hot noodle soup dishes.  This is probably due to the very cold weather in they city and all over New Zealand.

Last night, I was determined to cook "Curry Laksa."  This dish is often present in the menus of Malaysian or Singaporean restaurants here.

This dish is, as the name suggest is a curry but with noodles.

To cook this dish I had to go to the supermarket to buy a Curry Laksa soup base in can ($2.75).  I went to the Asian grocery to buy 500g fresh noodles ($1.75), fried tofu ($2.75), three pieces of chicken drumsticks ($2.50), small bag of mung bean sprouts ($1.50) and a small fish fillet ($1.75).

When I got home I dumped the ingredients (excluding the noodles) to the sauce pan and waited for the chicken to cook.

The result of this experiment is good enough but not as good as the restaurants that I frequent.

I'm still craving for this until now.  I may drag my friend to eat with me at an Asian food court tonight.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

US has bowed down to terrorists before - Jul. 21, 2004

US has bowed down to terrorists before - Jul. 21, 2004

I did not know that the US has bowed to terrorist demands before. Thanks to the writer of this opinion article.

Singapore will never negotiate with terrorists - Jul. 21, 2004

Singapore will never ... - Jul. 21, 2004

Singapore's security minister say that his nation will not negotiate with terrorists.

I dare Singapore to send army troops to Iraq.

They don't understand all sides of the situation.

Talk is cheap as always!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Bunye on Jay Leno's ... - Jul. 18, 2004

Bunye on Jay Leno's wisecrack: It ain't funny - Jul. 18, 2004

To know more about the jokes of Jay Leno please visit the link as it is not funny.

That is why I don't watch Jay Leno's shows since way back in the Philippines. His jokes are way 'below the belt.'

David Letterman is better. I just wish he does not do a Jay Leno.

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Australia bans Philippine bananas and other fruit imports due to its claims of phytosanitary threats. 
The pytosanitary claims I believe are unfounded as New Zealand also and continues to import the same Philippine bananas and pineapples.  (New Zealand by the way has very strict phytosanitary regulations.)  I believe other Filipino fruits are exported to 'developed' nations without this phystosanitary issue.
This import ban is just another barrier to free trade.  This is unfair.
Selfish interests still abound.

Friday, July 16, 2004


I am disappointed by the United States government in their response to the hostage crisis.  All they can say is that they do not do deals with terrorists.  If they have the best military forces in the world why can't they save the life of de la Cruz and the other hostages or even stop these Iraqi militants?
Because of the Philippine government's action I bet the US government will bully the Philippines  yet again.  Bullying as an action they do best especially to poor republics.
While I am disappointed by the Bush administration I do not hate the United States and its citizens.  It is sad to realise that the great United States of America is being used for the selfish interests of a few.

Diplomatic row: New Zealand vs Israel

A court in Auckland has sentenced two Israelis, Eli Cara and Urie Kelman (alledged to be members of Israeli intelligence, Mossad agents) for fraudulently acquiring New Zealand passports. They were sentenced to a jail term of six months and NZD 50,000 each as reparation to the NZ Cerebral Palsy Society. The man whose identity they used has cerebral palsy.

The two men were arrested by New Zealand police last March 2004. New Zealand since then has demanded an apology from Israel.

Now, as a consequence of the conviction the government has suspended diplomatic ties with Israel until the later gives an apology. Prime Minister Helen Clark has described the incident as a breech of the nation's sovereignty and international laws.

(Source: Passport case hurts ties with Israel, One News, TVNZ)

Why do they want a New Zealand passport? Some conspiracy theorists suggest that claiming as New Zealanders they can infiltrate organisations that has dealings with Israel's 'enemies' as New Zealand is seen as a friendly and neutral nation. I think I read this on a Herald feature months ago.

We live in mysterious days...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Angelo de la Cruz saga

The Philippines made it again to the headlines of major news organisations all over the world for the not so happy reasons.

The issue:
Iraqi militants abducted Filipino worker, Angelo de la Cruz in Iraq. The militants demand that the Philippines recall its so-called humanitarian contingent from Iraqi soil. The consquence for not following the demands is the death of de la Cruz.

Bowing to domestic opinion the government of the Philippines has announced that the Philippines will pullout its humanitarian forces.

Now, the Philippines is receiving rants from members of the 'coalition of the willing' due to this decision.

The question is whether de la Cruz is alive and safe. [I hope he is still alive.]

My opinion:
I am not concerned whether the Philippines receive aid or raves from the United States and its allies for supporting them. What is more important are the lives of Filipinos overseas. The economic and social cost of losing a breadwinner is a lot higher than what the US can 'promise or pledge' to the Philippines.

The life of de la Cruz (by the way is a father of eight children) cannot be replaced by B-2 visas (non-immigrant tourist), 'green cards,' surplus military equipment, and promises of 'economic aid.'

I am appalled by the opinion of some people who seem to not care on the prospect that de la Cruz could be killed. A life of a person is more important than Washington's ego.

Related links:
Confusion over Philippine troops
US struggles with Philippine fallout
Allies slam Philippine move
Google News search findings

Sunday, July 11, 2004

More on a possible 'Federal Republic of the Philippines'

Philippine Federal Republic: Progression or Retrogression

This paper was written by Dr. Gaudioso C. SosmeƱa, Jr., Executive Director of Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF) to the Strategic Studies Group, National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), May 29, 2001

The paper is a good read for those who want to know more on the issue.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


thank you to those who spent their time and bandwidth to listen to my audioblog posts.

(if you think my voice is ugly or unpleasant to hear post me a comment...)

memories of last year's almost "power crisis"

this is an audio post - click to play

first audioblogger post

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Immigration solutions mooted

New Zealand First says encouraging international students to remain in New Zealand rather than educating New Zealanders will lead to disaster. Source: Immigration solutions mooted from

There are already many training and education opportunities available for people born and raised in New Zealand. There are tertiary schools that offer almost zero tuition fees, incentives to promote teacher education and campaigns for Tangata Whenua (Maori) to get tertiary education. I believe the student loans scheme is available for all young people who want to enter universities or polytechs.

The real question is whether or not New Zealanders will take advantage of these opportunities to contribute to New Zealand society and economy. Also, if New Zealanders will have more kids there world not be any need for further migration.

Why keep on blaming immigrants? Aren't today's European and Pacific Islander New Zealanders also children or decendants of immigrants?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

who i dislike

I dislike people who blame the Roman Catholic Church for the problems of the world.

They do not know anything of what they really do. They complain that the Church is only concerned about grandiosity and grand structures.

Have we asked what ordinary Catholics want? If Catholics do not want grand buildings they would not go inside it in the first place. They would have switched to the INC (Church of Christ, local sect in the Philippines) or become agnostics.

A lot of people speak as if the Church is not doing anything good. Who helps lower caste Hindus from abuse in Gujarat? Who operates orphanages worldwide? Who helps the people in war torn Solomon Islands? Who helps the indigenous peoples all over the world? Who does these mentioned deeds all at the same time? To rephrase the question, are we even aware of the various conflicts and sufferings even in the most remote areas and are we even willing to help?

Next time when we ask what other people or organisations have done good and judge them ask ourselves first, have we done more than complaining and talk?

I'm no apologist for the Church but I think I am better informed of the real (NOT REEL) good they do.

Related Post: is organised religion important; safe sex may not be safe at all

lower birth rate by contraception = economic growth

This is a fallacy of those who want birth control to be forced upon the penises, vaginas, wombs and mouths of many Filipinos.

This is simply not true.

Look at Latin America, its birth rate are about half of the Philippines. Where is the economic growth there?

[For Latin America's birth rates, look it up at CIA World Fact Book]

Monday, July 05, 2004

alternative spelling of Filipino

I am surprised on how much technology has been trying to change the Filipino language. Sending SMS or text messages on mobile phones, sending emails and internet chats has changed how Filipino is being written.

Here are the things I have seen in cyberspace:
xa, cya, sha for SIYA (he or she, there is only one personal pronoun in Filipino)
oi for HOY (hey, you)
kau for IKAW (you)
kau for KAYO (you plural, 'u' pronounced as you)

Is this good? For linguists, they may conclude that information technology will evolve language.

For me, this change in written Filipino is fine as long as it stays within the domain of SMS where one tries to send as much information in 160 characters and chat. Using Filipino in other areas such as media, sending formal letters and emails. People must try to be faithful to the language.

Filipino is a beautiful language. Let us not strip it of its allure with 'alternative' spellings.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Supermarket Addict

As posted on My Life at Large blog, my first...

You may have noticed that I have a lot of supermarket related stories here. I have a confession to make, I am a supermarket addict. No week will pass without going to the supermarket.

I love to see what's everything that they sell. All the different kinds of teas, cereals, jams, marmalades, sauces, detergent and the deli corner. A lot of time I like to buy things that are on special. When I buy things that are discounted I feel that I have saved money. Once I counted how many hours I spent there it was a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 1:30 hours. I am definitely sick?!

When I am in a new country I want to go the supermarket immediately. It is a window to the country because you can see what they are eating or what their products are. When I'll visit North America I'll go to the largest Wal-Mart, in Britain the largest Tesco and Sainsbury's, in France the largest Carrefour.

Is there a Shopaholics Anonymous, the SA if ever I decide to seek treatment?
Me: Hi my name is XXXX and I am a shopaholic!
Members: Hi XXXX!

Or am I too cheap to be part of the SA? Probably the members are the signature apparel types not me the supermarket addict. Will I be discriminated by the CK girls, Armani matrons or the Gucci elite?

What if I write a review on all the products that I have tried? I can make money! I can review the latest toilet bowl cleaner, dishwasher powder, cake mixes or the latest cereal. Talk about profiting from your addiction. Now, if only the Herald has vacancies for my type.

Original permlink

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Federal Republic of the Philippines

De Venecia: Arroyo can be both PM, President

It seems that the shift to a federal and parliamentary system of government is the current political talk of the town.

I am not a lawyer, politician or academic but I am looking forward to this system change. I understand that the current system is the cause of our long electoral process.

The new system will attempt to decentralise the government of the Philippines. Decentralisation is important because the Philippines is a nation of 82 million people spread all over the 7,100 islands. In today's system all decisions are made in Manila, the capital and centre of government. Often, political commentators dub the capital as Imperial Manila because of its centralised powers that has been unfavourable to far flung provinces.

The concern in changing into a federal republic is that it may encourage feudalism. Certain powerful, rich and influential families may dominate local government and thus encourage corruption.

As for dual posts that Mr. De Venecia is speaking of in the linked article above, I am not in favour of people having two powerful positions. The powers of the future federal president and federal prime minister must be lesser than the current system. My friends from the Philippine government confirm that the president of the Philippines has so much money under his or her disposal and vast appointment powers. The powers of the president is a temptation for corruption and evil.

There are also proposals to remove the upper chamber of congress, the Philippine Senate. According to proponents of this move this will remove dead locks and make legislation faster or efficient. I do not believe that an efficient legislature does not automatically mean an effective law making. Bills can be passed without much scrutiny that can be provided by the senate. On the other hand, if the senate will be retained I wish that senators must be doubled and be elected by state much like the United States. Electing senators equally by state (eg. two senators per state) will ensure that states with few members of parliament (MP) get equal representation.

Let us wait and see...

Friday, July 02, 2004

Jervois Quay

Jervois Quay, Wellington
Photo taken from one of the waterfront overpasses, the so called 'post-modern' overpass.
 Posted by Hello

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Majestic Centre

The Majestic Centre, Willis St. probably the tallest building in the Wellington CBD. Posted by Hello


Wellington City and Harbour Posted by Hello